Punjabi tadka dal is one of very simple Indian recipes, which is cooked almost in every Indian home in different forms. Be it Sambhar, Rasam, Missal, chanardal, or simple Arhar dal. Whatever the form and combination, dal is a staple in Indian meals. One such recipe is of Punjabi tadka dal, at 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 it in 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 breakfast she used to put this dal in a big earthen pot called kunnithats why sometimes people call it kunnidal too. So kunni was placed in the tandoor and dal was slow cooked for about 2-3 hours on very slow fire and it used to have a unique smoky flavour. Finally she used to add tadka to prepare this creamy tadka dal for the lunch, a simple heavenly meal with unique aroma of little smoke with tandoori onion parantha.
Cooked tadka/tempering will look like this.
Though I do not have the patience to cook it in clay pot or clay oven but still I try to make tadka/tempering like her but it is still not the same. Oh! I so miss that smoky taste but afford to cook in clay oven these days.