Pappu is a comfort food from south India. This tomato Pappu recipe is from the region of Andra Pradesh. Daals are very popular all over India, and although sambar seems to be the most common south Indian lentil preparation, numerous simple dals are also cooked daily. There is a wide variety of Pappu. Today, I share the most common one, tomato Pappu. This is a famous everyday daal in Indian homes.
In a previous post, I introduced you to daals with a basic arhar daal recipe. In this post, I want to demonstrate that the same arhar/toor/split pigeon peas can taste completely different when different spices are used.
- Arhar daal/Toor daal/Split pigeon peas
- Olive oil
- Fenugreek seeds
- Turmeric powder
- Red chilli powder
- Coriander powder
- Black mustard seeds
- Green chilli
- Curry leaves
See the recipe card for quantities.
Firstly, prepare your ingredients. Chop the tomatoes and finely chop the ginger.
Soak the daal overnight; rinse and drain the water the following day.
Add the daal to a pot with water, fenugreek seeds, turmeric and salt. Cover and bring to a boil.
Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat to medium heat and remove the foam forming on top of the daal.
Heat the oil and temper the black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves in a pan. Be careful not to burn the spices. It takes less than a minute to temper the spices.
Add the chopped tomatoes and garlic, and fry for a couple of minutes.
Next, add the chilli powder, coriander powder and the green chilli slit down the middle. Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes are soft and cooked.
Once the daal is cooked and soft. Using the back of a spoon, mash some of the daal to bring the daal to your desired consistency.
Add the tadka and mix well—Cook for a further five minutes.
Garnish with coriander leaves if using, and serve hot with rice.
Fresh tomatoes can be replaced with canned chopped tomatoes.
If you don't have black mustard seeds, you can replace them with cumin seeds.
Traditionally this dal is made with Arhar/Toor/ Split pigeon peas; however, you can use either chana or even masoor (red lentil) daal for this recipe.
Store this daal in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You may find that the daal becomes thick and jelly-like; add a bit of water while reheating, and it will return to its original state.
It is OK to freeze this daal in an airtight container for up to three months; make sure to defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat thoroughly before consuming.
Have all the ingredients for the tadka at hand because the tempering of the spices is very quick, and rushing to get the other ingredients may result in the spices burning.
When popped in hot oil, mustard seeds tend to fly out of the pan, so be careful not to get burnt or hit by them!
Tomato Pappu Recipe
- 200 g Arhar/Toor/Split pigeon peas
- ¼ teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 800 ml Water
- 1 teaspoon Black Mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
- ½ teaspoon Asafoetida
- 2 stems Curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 130 g Tomatoes, chopped
- 10 g Garlic
- ½ teaspoon Coriander powder
- 1 Green chilli
- ½ teaspoon Red chilli powder
- 5 g Fresh coriander optional
- Soak the daal overnight or for at least six hours. The following day, rinse and drain the water.
- Add the daal to a pot. Then add the water, fenugreek seeds, turmeric and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat to medium and simmer remove the foam forming on top of the Daal.
Making the Tadka
- Finely chop the tomatoes and garlic.
- Heat the oil and temper the black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves in a pan. Be careful not to burn the spices. It takes less than a minute to temper. Make sure you have all the spices ready before you start to temper them.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, and chopped garlic and fry for a couple of minutes.
- Next, add the chilli powder, coriander powder and a green chilli slit down the middle. Cook over a medium flame until the tomatoes are soft and cooked.
Finishing the Tomato Pappu.
- Once the Daal is cooked and soft, sing the back of a ladle, mash some of the daal until you achieve your desired daal consistency.
- Add the tadka and mix well. Cook for a further five minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves if using and serve hot with rice.
In a professional kitchen, food hygiene and safety are top priorities, and from the beginning of my training, I practised good habits and routines. Of course, practising good food hygiene and safety at home is also essential. Here are some fundamental practices to adopt in the kitchen.
- Wash your hands regularly while preparing, handling and cooking food.
- Wipe down countertops and high-contact points regularly.
- If you cook meat and fish, do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat. Use separate chopping boards for meat and fish. Wash your chopping boards immediately after use.
- Thoroughly cook food to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods (more than 2 hours).
- Store food correctly.
For more details regarding food hygiene and safety in the home, visit the UK Government's Food Standards Agency webpage.