Mah chane ki dal or Langar wali dal is one of very simple Punjabi dal recipe which is cooked almost in all Punjabi homes. Also known as Punjabi tadka dal, in our home we call it “Langar wali dal” as this is mostly served in langar (community feast) in gurudwara . It always reminds me of my grandmother, who used to cook maa chane ki dal the much different way. She used to make it in the tandoor (clay oven) rather than cooking in the pressure cooker like our generation does.
Whenever we used to visit our village, she used to make tandoori paranthas, served with a big blob of freshly churned white butter. After cooking the breakfast, she would put this dal in a big earthen pot called kunni that is why sometimes people call it kunni dal too. The kunni was placed in the tandoor and dal was slow cooked for about 2-3 hours on very slow fire.
Because of long cooking over wood fire the dal was quite smoky and had a unique flavor. Finally, she used to add tadka to prepare this creamy tadka dal for the lunch, a simple heavenly meal with the unique aroma of little smoke and we kids devoured it tandoori onion parantha.
Cooked tadka/tempering will look like this.
Though I do not have the patience to cook it in the clay pot or clay oven but still I try to make tadka/tempering like her it is still not the same. Oh! I so miss that smoky taste but can’t afford to cook in clay oven these days.