Fresh coconut is a favorite of most South Indians. Neeharika in particular can have any number of them. She in fact visits temples only for the half piece of coconut or kobbari chippa as it is called in Telugu. Coconut dal is made more during festivals at home, thanks to the number of coconuts we break for the puja/vrath etc. and then keep wondering what to do with so much of coconut. Coconut dal is not just about coconuts but is also very good for digestion and highly nutritious.
Preparation time: 25-30 mins
Fresh and grated coconut (pachi kobbari) 1 cup
Pigeon peas (toor dal/kandipappu) 1 cup
Refined cooking oil 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds (rai/aavalu) 1 tsp
Cinnamon stick (dalchini/dalchinchakka) 1
Cumin seeds (jeera/jeelakarra) 2 tsp
Coriander seeds (dhania seeds/dhanialu) 1tsp
Pepper 2 tsp
Green chillies 2
Curry leaves 4-5
Pinch of asafoetida (hing/inguva)
Pinch of turmeric (haldi/pasupu)
Salt to taste
Fresh and chopped coriander for garnish
Finely grate the coconut and set aside. Finely chop coriander, green chillies.
Add turmeric and pressure-cook/boil the pigeon peas to 4 whistles or until cooked.
Dry roast and grind to a coarse or fine powder pepper, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds.
Heat oil in a pan/kadai (bandli/mukudu) and add the mustard seeds, chopped green chillies, curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida.
Add the cooked pigeon peas, water (if required) and cook to a soft and well-mashed dal. Add the above ground coriander and pepper powder, salt to taste and chopped coriander. Mix and leave to cook for another couple of minutes.
Before serving add a full cup of grated coconut and mix well. Coconut dal complements both rice and any Indian bread. A must inclusion in the daily menus, especially because it is a good digestive containing the essential fats and proteins.