“Dalitoy” is the quintessential konkani dish. In fact, if non-konkanis were familiar with just one konkani dish, this is typically it. Personally though I don’t know why such a big deal is made out of this dish – afterall, it is just another kind of Dal preparation. Surely, its very tasty but then there are so many other Konkani dishes that have no parallel in other cuisines (as it typically is with small cultures) and Dalitoy is not among them. Yet somehow Dalitoy still remains some kind of an ambassador of Konkani cuisine and find itself on the menu for each and every Konkani function.
In this dish, dal and the seasoning plays an important role. It should be properly seasoned either by pure ghee or the coconut oil. In households normally people season it with pure ghee. A better quality of dal would make better dalithoy. It is incredibly simple to make – perhaps the simplest among all my recipe posts so far. So go ahead and give it a shot.
What you need to have:
1. Toor Dal: 1/2 cup
2. Green chilly: 3-4
3. Soft Asafoetida: Peanut sized
4. Some coriander leaves
5. Salt to taste
1. Mustard seeds: 1 Teaspoon
2. Red chilly: 1 long or 2 short pieces
3. Curry leaves: 2 strin
4. Asafoetida powder: 1/2 teaspoon
What you do with what you have:
1. Soak Toor dal in 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes. Add a few drops of cooking oil and 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder to it. Cook it in the cooker as usual for around 20 minutes.
2. Slit green chilly lengthwise, dissolve soft asafoetida in water and keep it aside.
3. When dal is cooked transfer it to another bowl and add required quantity of water to bring it to a pouring consistency. Add asafoetida solution from step 2 and salt. Bring it to boil stiring it occasionally by adjusting the flame.
4. When boiled (about 5-8 minutes later) add slit green chilly and corriander leaves and keep it closed for about 10 minutes.
5. Place of spatulla with 3-4 teaspoon of pure ghee in it. On heating add mustard seeds to it. When it sputters add cut red chillies, Asafoetida powder and curry leaves. Add to the dish and and keep the lid closed.
Ready to serve Dali thoy is as shown in the image below. Serve hot with rice.
What to remember:
1. Use good quality Dal, else it may turn tasteless since there is no sophisticated masala coming to your rescue. Use quality Asafoetida as it is in fact, the only masala ingredient.
2. The reason for adding slit green chilly in the end is, that if it is boiled it releases all the seeds and in turn the dish may become more spicy than you might prefer. The dish is supposed to be very mild and not spicy.One more thing one can even add the slit green chillies as soon as the cooked dal is transfered into a bowl and keep the lid closed for a while so that the chillies turn out smooth and will not give away the seeds in dal.
3. In North Canara in places like Kumta and Honnavar, people use Ginger as the main ingredient masala instead of the Asafoetida.
How long it takes: 35 minutes