Dal has been called India’s national dish because it’s found everywhere.
It’s a stew of lentils (or dried peas or beans); and it’s also the word for the dried, split form of these pulses (lentils/peas/beans).
A small serving may be served as part of a meal, or it can form the substance of a meal as a thick stew with rice or bread.
For me, it ticks the trifecta of delicious, inexpensive and healthy.
What to try
There are hundreds of different dal in India, here are a few worth seeking out:
Mung dal (or moong dal) – Dal made from sprouted mung beans so it has a fresher, earthier flavour, plus fermented so extra good for you.
Chana dal – Dal made from split chick peas, giving it the nuttiness of the world’s favourite yellow pea.
Dal makhani – The king of dals, made with black urad lentils and cooked with milk, tomato puree, masala mix, butter and cream. So essentially it’s given the butter chicken treatment, and it was invented in the same place – at the Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi.
Where to eat dal in Sandringham
Shubh (520-524 Sandringham Road) is the home of dal. Enter their bright and airy shop and there are glistening pottles on the counter to take away, or you can eat in in their adjoining restaurant. Great roti to mop up, or go for a thali, which are platters with dal, curry, bread, chutneys, rice.
If you want to try dal makhani, Satya, Bawarchi and Paradise all have their own versions.