so, as a NYC transplant, i am sorely missing some types of food here in sarasota FL. there is no decent indian food close enough to get take out from - only one restaurant in town and it's garbage - and i miss daal the most. it may not be the most special indian dish, but it's a great comfort food for me.
what i'm looking for is a channa daal recipe specifically because i want to "see" my lentils, as a friend says. i'd like it to be soupy rather than gloopy (although nothing wrong with that, it's just how i like it) - a little watery without a watery taste.
my favorite channa daal in NYC was at chola (horrifying, abysmal service, couldn't even get delivery right - you had to go pick up the order and check it yourself but it was worth it), and they don't even make it anymore. it definitely had a good amount of cumin in it, but not overwhelming. also cilantro, tomatoes, fried bits of julienned ginger and coconut....so i think that must be from the tarka step at the end - but how on earth did they keep it from being oily? i love the flavors of a tarka, but can't stand the grease. also, it was on the vegan section of the menu, so i don't know if it had ghee in it...
so, yeah. soupy daal with a mighty ginger/garlic taste and something resembling a tarka on top but without much oil? recipes greatly appreciated! (and i don't have a pressure cooker)