Val ni Dahl (Split Val Dall)

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Vaal is a field bean also called  the hyacinth bean , lima beans, dried vaal, Fava beans or even butter beans.  This Vaal is not from the Vaal Papdi family.  Vaal papdi is a green vegetable curry compaired to this lentil curry.

It’s sold in Indian shops as val, or vaal.  The whole Val curry is really popular in all Gujarati homes and often  served as a dish at Gujarati weddings. Val beans have exceptional nutritional value. They are high in protein as well as vitamin A, the vitamin B complex, vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as various minerals and enzymes. Highly recommended as rich in nutrients like protein and fiber which aid digestion and help prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Val grows like any bean as a creeper.   It’s green beans are called valor and fresh Valor curry is really tasty. It’s seeds  can be eaten green or are  dried and become the val bean.

These beans are split are hence called Val dahl/dall.

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The split val beans make a nice curry which is rich in protein.  Val ni dall has a slightly stronger lentil taste than mung dall

Ingredients for 2-3 servings:

  • 2 cups Vaal/Val dall
  • 2 tbls cooking oil
  • 1 red dried chilli
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp ajma (ajwain or carom seeds)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of ginger
  • 2 fresh green chillies chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup pasatta or tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tbls lemon juice
  • 1 tbls Jaggery
  • 5-6 fresh curry leaves
  • Coriander to garnish
  • Pinch of soda bicarbonate ( if needed)

Method:

1,     Soak the vaal dall for 2 or more hours.

2.   Heat the oil and add in the mustard seeds, ajma (ajwain) and dried chilies and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds stop popping – add the split Vaal dall.  Add the spices – salt, turmeric, chilli powder and stir. Now add the ginger, garlic and green chilies.  Add 4 cups of water, cover the dish and allow this to cook for 10-12 minutes. Stir and check if the dahl has started to soften. If not add a bit more water. (The ajwain is added to this dish as it helps with digestion My mother always said that these beans were hard to digest and ajwain helped with the digestion.)

3.  Try not to stir the dahl too much or it will get mushy.

4.   Once the dall softens, add the tomatoes, lemon juice, jaggery and cook for a further 5 minutes.  If the dahl looks too dry, you can add a cup of hot water to the dall.

5. Once cooked, garnish with fresh coriander and serve the dall hot with rice and chappatis.

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