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Dal-Vegetable Curry (Tovve)

  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Serves: 3 to 4 people
  • Spice Level: Medium

Authenticity Slice

The dal in this dish has to essentially be soft but not dry. Therefore, care needs to be taken that the right amount of water is added to it while cooking. The ghee ensures not only a heady aroma but also a smooth texture, so it is a good idea to be liberal with it.

Trivia Tadka

The Tovve is considered to be a very auspicious dish among the Brahmins of Karnataka and is prepared to mark all festivals and religious occasions. In the preparation of this dish, mushy lentils are cooked in spices on a low fire till they turn creamy. Vegetables such as Choti Wali Lauki (ridged gourd) and cucumber, and a liberal dash of ghee, lend the Tovve a special flavour.


  • Split pigeon peas (arhar dal) (1 cup)
  • Cucumber, cubed (1 cup)
  • MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder (a pinch)
  • Desi ghee (2 tbsp)
  • Mustard leaves (sarson) (¼ tsp)
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) (½ tsp)
  • Asafoetida (hing) (¼ tsp)
  • Curry leaves (kadipatta) (5 to 6)
  • Dry red chillies (sabut lal mirch) (2)
  • Green chillies (hari mirch), slit vertically (3)
  • Salt (to taste
  • Lime juice (to taste)


  • Wash the dal thoroughly. In a pressure cooker, add the washed dal along with 4 cups of water, MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder and a drop of ghee.
  • Pressure-cook on a high flame, timing it to 4 whistles. Once done, take off the flame and allow the steam to escape naturally. Transfer the cooked dal to a bowl.
  • Half-fill another vessel with water and bring it to a boil on a high flame. Add the cucumber cubes to it. Let it boil for a few minutes so that the cucumber turns soft. Take off the flame and drain out the water. Add the kheera pieces to the dal.
  • In a kadhai, heat the remaining ghee on a medium flame and add the sarson and jeera. Once they begin to splutter, add the kadipatta, hing and sabut lal mirch. Sauté  for 30 seconds and immediately pour the tadka over the cooked dal. Cover the bowl with a lid to let all the flavours seep through.
  • Sprinkle lime juice according to taste, and serve the Tovve with steaming rice and lots of ghee.

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