Amla Dal: Gooseberry Dal

4 Jun

Those beautiful pale green berries on the vegetable vendor’s cart looked so bewitching, I had to pick them up. I used them in this delicious amla dal (gooseberry dal) and loved the result, I can heartily recommend the recipe to you.

The mysterious tang of amla dal is sure to make your dinner guests curious about what you’ve put in it. Not tomatoes, not tamarind, not lemon – what is it?!

You Need:

Amla Dal: Gooseberry Dal

  • Toor dal – 3/4 cup
  • Gooseberries – 4
  • Turmeric powder – a pinch
  • Salt – to taste

For the tadka:

  • Garlic – 5 cloves
  • Curry leaves* – 10
  • Dry red chilies – 2 or 3
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons

*I’ve used dried curry leaves in this dal which has a milder flavor than fresh curry leaves. If you have fresh curry leaves on hand, nothing like it.

Gooseberry Dal Ingredients

In the picture above, from top-left: toor dal, garlic, dry curry leaves, fresh gooseberries, dry red chilies.

How To Make Gooseberry Dal:

Wash and soak toor dal in two cups of water for an hour.

Drain, wash again and put toor dal in a pressure cooker with a pinch of turmeric and four whole gooseberries.

Pressure cooke the dal for 3 whistles – the first on high flame, the rest on low flame.Gooseberry Dal, Pressure-Cooked

Let the pressure release naturally. When you take off the lid, you’ll see the dal has softened and the gooseberries have split open.

Mash the gooseberries into the dal, discarding the pits. Add salt.

Bring the dal to a boil again and simmer for 5 minutes for the flavors to integrate.

Do the tadka:

Chop garlic into bits and tear red chilies into 2-3 pieces.

Gooseberry Dal Tadka

In a pan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil.

Add mustard seeds and when they have spluttered, add chopped garlic. Let the garlic turn color and follow with dry red chilies and curry leaves.

Let them all fry on low heat, till they begin to give off a lovely aroma.

Transfer the dal into the tadka pan, switch off the flame and close lid. Let the flavors blend for 5 minutes.

Serve gooseberry dal hot with chapatis/rice and a vegetable side dish.

Gooseberry Dal

Meal in the pic below: gooseberry dal, potato broad beans curry, methi dahi and chapatis.

Gooseberry Dal, Potato Broad Beans Curry, Methi Dahi, Chapatis.

5 Responses to “Amla Dal: Gooseberry Dal”

  1. Vishakha June 7, 2012 at 11:37 PM #

    Nice recipe. I’ve never had toor dal like this. I have got aamla twice in the past 2 months with a lot of enthusiasm but haven’t made anything out of it! (Other than take a photo of it.. if that counts!) I am curious to taste and find out for myself what aamla does to the dal! Will try it out next time.

    • S June 8, 2012 at 2:52 PM #

      Thanks Vishakha, let me know you liked the dal.

  2. Prerna June 8, 2012 at 11:14 PM #

    I am definitely going to try this! Did you come up with the recipe yourself?

    • S June 8, 2012 at 11:37 PM #

      Hi Prerna, I had rasam with amla in it at a friend’s place. ‘Not tomatoes, not tamarind, not lemon – what is it?’ was the exact question I put to her :-)

      That rasam gave me the idea of using gooseberries with dal.

      I should mention this – pressure-cooking gooseberries with toor dal seems to increase the cooking time for dal. 3 whistles in my cooker usually cooks toor dal to smooth consistency, but whenever I’ve added gooseberries each dal grain has remained whole. Let me know if this happens with you too.

      • Prerna June 12, 2012 at 2:19 AM #

        That’s interesting! I need to now try out rasam with amla! :) Planning to make the dal this week.. will keep you posted on how it turns out.

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