My younger brother was a terribly fussy eater when we were growing up. He hardly ate anything. My mom had to cajole, cuddle, force and sometimes even threaten him to eat his lunch and dinner.
Everyday my mom would try and make something really delicious for his meal in school and he would come back with the lunch box untouched. My poor mother used to get sleepless nights, worrying about the fact that her boy may not grow as healthy as the other boys of his age.
So she would make funny names of Dals and vegetables that she cooked to tempt him to eat. One of his favorite cartoon character was “He-Man”. So my mom invented a “He Man Dal” which according to her version was a Dal that “He-Man” ate everyday to be strong and fight the evil “Skeletor”. Ofcourse sucker that my brother was he believed it and he would sit in front of the TV and drink a bowl full of this dal in which my mom would mix pieces of Chapatis laden with Ghee, so her “He-Man” would grow up to be a tall and strong boy.
This “He – Man dal” is really a ” Punj Rattani Dal or a 5 Gems Dal”. It is a delicious concoction of 5 tasty and super healthy Dals which my brother slurped up with joy. The gems or rattan in this case are – Moong, Urad, Chana, Masoor and Toor dal.
This Dal can be eaten with Chapatis, Rice, as a soup with some crusty Bread and the left over Dal can be used to knead flour to make healthy chapatis. The Yogurt in this Dal gives it a tangy flavor and makes it super tasty.
Even though the fussy eater is now 6.2 in height and can eat enough for 3 people everytime he comes home on holiday my doting mom makes it for him. Here is the recipe for you to try.
Recipe – (Cooking time 40 – 45 minutes, serves 4-6 )
7 tsp (30 grams) Toor dal (Pigeon Peas)
7 tsp (30 grams) Yellow Moong Dal (Moong Beans)
7 tsp (30 grams) Masoor Dal (Red Lentils)
7 tsp (30 grams) Chana Dal (Yellow Gram)
7 tsp (30 grams) Urad Dal (White Lentil)
1 large Onion finely Chopped
2 tsp Ghee
Salt to taste
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp Red Chili powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
For the Tempering
1 large Tomato finely chopped
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Garam masala powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1/4 cup Yogurt whisked (at room temperature)
1 tbsp Butter
Freshly chopped Coriander and 2 – 3 Green chilies (slit) to garnish.
1) Clean and wash all the Dals together and let them soak in water for atleast 15 minutes. Heat a deep bottomed pan or a pressure cooker add Ghee and the Cumin seeds.
2) Once they start to splutter add the chopped Onions and saute till translucent.
3) Drain all the water from the Dal and add it to the pan, sauteing for 5 minutes. Add Salt to taste and 3 -4 cups Water and let it cook. If using Pressure cooker let it cook for 6 whistles. Turn the heat off and let the steam off before opening the lid of the cooker.
4) Put the Dal back on a low heat (without the pressure cookers lid) and remove the scum from the top. Add the Red Chili powder, Turmeric, Coriander powder and mix well.
5)For the tempering in another pan heat the Butter and add the Fennel seeds. Once they start to splutter add the chopped Tomatoes and let them cook till the Butter starts to separate. Add the Cumin, Garam masala and the yogurt, cooking for 1 -2 minutes before adding the tempering the Dal.
6) Cook the Dal on a low flame for 7 – 10 minutes before removing it from the heat.
7) Check for seasoning and serve hot with chopped Coriander and slit Green chilies.
“Recipe source – Prashad, cooking with Indian masters by JKalra”.