Doodhi Chana ni Dal nu Shaak
Doodhi is a long pale green squash sold in Indian grocery stores. For this recipe if you cannot find doodhi, any type of squash works, but zucchini is better.
- 1 small or ½ medium doodhi (or 1 large zucchini, cut into ½ inch dice)
- ¾ cup channa dal (split chickpeas)
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 ½ teaspoons dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
- 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
- 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely minced
- 1 small golf ball size piece of jaggery (Indian raw sugar)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Water as needed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 8 to 10 curry leaves
- Pinch of asafetida
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 red dry chili
- Rinse channa dal , transfer to a soup pot or a Dutch oven or a pressure cooker and add 1 ½ cups water. Cover the pot and let dal soak for 2 to 3 hours or until dal is soft (Soaking is optional).
- Peel doodhi and cut into ½ inch dice, discarding the seeds. Keep the cut pieces into water. Once doodhi is cut, drain and add it to pot with channa dal. If you are using zucchini do not add at this point. Cover with lid and let dal and doodhi cook for 40 to 45 minutes or until dal is soft on a medium heat or cook in a pressure cooker according to manufacturer’s direction. Add zucchini after dal is cooked and let it cook for 5 minutes with dal, uncovered.
- Once the dal is cooked, add turmeric and season with salt. Lower the heat and add jaggary, dhana jeeru, green chili, ginger and let it simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
- In a separate small soup pot, heat oil on medium high heat. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add asafetida, curry leaves, red chili and chili powder. Pour oil with spices over dal. Mix it, add lemon juice and let it simmer for two or three minutes. If Shaak is too thick, add some water. Garnish with cilantro before serving. Serve warm with Paratha or over rice.