The Dal Cookbook


I stick to a few rules when it comes to cooking, and one of them is: there is never too much Indian food. Therefore, when I saw that there was a book entirely devoted to dal, I knew I had to have it – after all, there is nothing better than chapati bread and a bowl of warming dal.

At the very beginning, the author reminds us of what is most important and without which you cannot start cooking are the many variations of dal – the types of legumes that you must have in the kitchen: moong dal, gram dal, kala chana, urad dal and so on. But it’s enough to start with something with easily available, like red lentils or chickpeas, to be able to enjoy a delicious and healthy dish.

Nothing cheers me up on a cold day like Punjabi tadka dal, but in spring and summer I am drawn to lighter versions, such as Keralan sambar or steamed idli pancakes, which are dipped in light dal. I am tempted to try some dishes from the eastern part of India, such as urid dal in Bengali version. Then all you have to do is prepare a fluffy roti and some chutney and you can sit down at the table.

Cheap to produce, highly nutritional, easy for long storage and able to be cooked with a basic pot on an open fire, this food has been providing quality nourishment to millions of impoverished Indians. The rich too customised its versality to create sumptuous dishes fit for the Maharajas. Even the itinerant colonial officers on duty in distant parts of the subcontinents supped on kedgeree cooked by their Indian orderlies under open skies.

Czas oczekiwania: 4-5 weeks










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