Another week of Blogging Marathon is here. This time I would be posting some regional specials (Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh, India). I would like to make a special mention. All the recipes in this week would be from the kitchen of my maternal grandmother, Smt. Panyam Santamma garu. 

Trust me on these recipes as they are at least a century old. The method of cooking might have changed but the spirit remains the same. These recipes figure in the top 10 favorites of my grandma, who has a great taste even today!! The recipes have been passed on to my mom and now to me. 

Keep in mind that my grandmother lived most of her life in a village called Koilkuntla, which happens to be a hot and dry area, the choice of vegetables are more in tune with the availability there. 

The first recipe is this delicious Dal from her kitchen. Apparently she (My grandma now lives in Hyderabad) reminded amma and asked her why no one ever prepares this dal anymore? I too remember eating this dal as a child but have no vivid memories. Here is how you can taste this awesome 'out-of-world' Dal for Day 1.

Alu Ginger Dal

Ingredients - 

Alu/Potato , peeled and cubed 1 cup
Toor Dal 3/4 cup
Ginger , chopped 1 Tbsp
Green Chillies 4-5 (or as needed)
Coriander leaves few
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Lemon Juice 1 Tbsp
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Jeera 1/2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Hing 1/8 tsp, Red Chilli 1-2, Curry leaves few)

Notes - 
*Potatoes are usually available year round in most areas. So an ideal choice !!
*Toor Dal was used most often in my grandmother's kitchen as they had farms where they grew and so they always had bags full of Toor Dal !! 
*I understand that this can be prepared using moong dal, though I have never made it myself!

Method Of Preparation - 

In a pressure cooker boil toor dal and potatoes separately. If boiling potatoes in the pressure cooker is not an option, boil them on the stove top or in the microwave. Obviously my grandma used to cook on the stove top in either brass or an earthen pot using a stove with burning coal (kumpati in telugu) where it would slow cooked to perfection!!

After the cooker cools down, heat a sauce pan and add oil and the seasoning. After the mustard seeds splutter and the urad dal is brown add the boiled potatoes and the dal.

Make a paste of green chillies, Coriander leaves and Ginger. Add the paste ,turmeric and salt.

Let the dal simmer for couple of minutes and remove from fire. Again this would be roughly ground in a mortar-pestle made out of natural stone as opposed to the steel , wooden or marble ones in the modern kitchen :)

Alu Ginger Dal

Squeeze in the lemon juice. Serve over hot rice and ghee.

Enjoy every morsel of Dal-Rice with the flavor of ginger and chillies tickling your taste buds!

I am sure the Dal which my grandma made would have been tastier given her kitchen setting, cooking methods, the fresh water and her loving hand!! My effort to recreate is just one step closer to saluting her !!

Serves Approx 4 Adults
Preparation Time 35 min


  1. looking forward to all the recipes, recipes from grannys work the best

    this is lovely let me make this for lunch tmrw with rice

  2. Jayashree Says:
  3. Grandma's recipes are always the best.

  4. Priya Suresh Says:
  5. Granny's recipes are always the best, dal looks super delicious and comforting..

  6. Aarthi Says:
  7. lovely colour

  8. Unknown Says:
  9. this sounds new to me!...I can surely say its very comforting! love the addition of ginger!

  10. Suma Gandlur Says:
  11. Ammamma vantalu konni amma vallu cheyaru, vallu chesinavi manam cheyyam. Some recipes get lost over time and the future generations never get to know about them. That is one of the reasons why I started blogging. :)
    My family comes from kosta region and so, I am not familir with this dish. Good to know about it.

  12. jayasree Says:
  13. Looking forward to the rest of your granny's recipes in this series. This dal sounds different.

  14. Very interesting dal...

  15. sushma Says:
  16. Looks yummy yet different

  17. Smitha Says:
  18. Hi Harini,

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe. This is comfort in a bowl. Hot rice, Ghee and what else do you need :)
    Love it

    Smitha @kanndacuisine

  19. aipi Says:
  20. A wholesome dish!
    US Masala

  21. divya Says:
  22. Wow looks delicious ad very tempting.

  23. Usha Says:
  24. Never had alu dal.. Looks good and looking forward to more rayalaseema recipes!

  25. Unknown Says:
  26. Looks very inviting and delicious:)

    Event:Herbs and Flowers - Mushrooms

  27. Unknown Says:
  28. What a rich and lovely color and very yummy dal :)

  29. Pavani Says:
  30. What Suma said is so true.. Looking forward to all the traditional rayalaseema dishes. Dal looks rich and comforting.

  31. Nice recipe. Bookmarked..

  32. Divya Says:
  33. nice recipe...will do it today...thanks for sharing...

  34. Vardhini Says:
  35. Looks so good. Love anything with dal.


  36. Srivalli Says:
  37. Looks so good Harini..I am so looking fwd to your 7 posts..

  38. AJ Says:
  39. Delicious!! What a perfect recipe for toor dal.

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