Andhra Tomato Pappu or Tomato Dal
Andhra Tomato Pappu or Tomato Dal is cooked at least once a week in every kitchen in Andhra. Andhra cuisine is known for its spicy tangy flavours which are absolutely delicious. Typically, Kandi Pappu, Tuvarr Dal or Split Pea Lentils are a staple in north Indian and south Indian kitchens. The dal is cooked in various ways thus, keeping it interesting every day. Mudda Pappu (plain Tuvarr dal cooked with just salt) is eaten with steamed rice and red hot Avakaya or Mango Pickle. Generally, Kandi Pappu (Pappu means dal and I know Pappu reminds you of someone) is regularly cooked with leafy vegetables Palakura (spinach), Gongura (Sorrel), Bacchalkura (Malabar spinach), Thotakura (Amaranth); as well as, vegetables such as tomato, mango, dosakaya.
Simple Recipe of Tomato Pappu
Andhra Tomato Pappu or Tomato Dal is a simple recipe. It is made with Tuvar Dal boiled with tomatoes and tempered with pure ghee, mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves.I like to add garlic to the tempering as it gives it a very pungent flavour. In Andhra cuisine, tamarind pulp or raw mango pieces too are added but I find it too sour for my taste, so I skip that. The tomatoes are sour enough and give a nice tangy taste to the dal.
Usually, Tuvar dal or pigeon pea lentils is used to make Tomato Pappu. However, in summer, petite yellow lentils or split and dehusked green gram or moong dal or even split red lentil or masoor dal is used.
Tomato Pappu or Tuvar dal mixed in rice with a dollop of ghee and eaten with crunchy poppadoms can make your tummy really happy. Earthy, simple, soulful food like this is what gives comfort when you need it. Add fresh Mango or Avakai pickle, and you have a deadly combo. Simple fare indeed but nevertheless soul food! We all know that Kandi Pappu with tomato is a universally loved dish and the sizzle of the pure ghee tempering over hot dal sounds gastronomically divine.
Fortunately, I have the best of both worlds. I cook and like South Indian dal as much as I like my North Indian, especially Sabut Masur Dal, the recipe is here if you want to try. It is very yummy as well. We make Khichdi too with Sabut Moong Dal
Andhra Tomato Pappu or Tomato Dal
1 cup tuvarr dal (Kandi Pappu) or split pea lentils
3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
2 green chillies split lengthwise
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
For the tempering or tadka
1 tbsp ghee or clarified butter or more
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 dried red chillies
4 garlic flakes crushed
Few curry leaves
½ tsp red chilli powder
Fresh Coriander leaves
Although the dal is clean wash several times and soak for about 15 minutes.
Transfer dal into a pressure cooker and add 3 cups of water.
Add the chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder and green chillies.
Cover the lid and pressure cook for 5 whistles. Open the cooker when the steam is released and check that the dal is soft and mushy.
Transfer dal to a serving bowl.
Tadka for the Tomato Pappu
Heat ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds, let them pop, add the cumin seeds, garlic, red chillies, and curry leaves.
Add the red chilli powder and remove from fire.
Pour over the hot dal and watch the sizzling tempering adding flavour to the dal. Garnish the Tomato Pappu with fresh coriander leaves.
Serve Andhra Tomato Pappu or Tomato Dal hot with steamed rice or even hot roti or flatbread for those who do not eat rice. In Andhra, a traditional meal is served on a banana leaf and that is what I did today.
Isn’t it an easy recipe to follow? This yummy tangy Andhra Tomato Pappu or Tomato Dal is quick and easy to make. A bowl of rice topped liberally with dal and then drizzled with some desi ghee is foodie nirvana indeed.