Tamata Pappu ~ Tomato Dal

Tamata Pappu, Tomato Pappu, Tomato Pappu Charu, Tomato Dal, Dal, Arhar Dal, Toor Dal, Kandi Pappu, Telangana Food, Telangana Cuisine, Telugu Food, Indian Food, South Indian Food, Blogging Marathon, Journey Through the Cuisines, A-Z Challenge, A-Z Telangana Cuisine, Andhra Food,

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After yesterday’s long post, I am going to or at least try to keep this short. In this A-Z Challenge, Journey Through Telangana Cuisine, today I have a very simple recipe that is prepared all across India with few variations. I never paid much attention to letter T until very late and in fact, this is one of the last dishes I cooked for this marathon, this past weekend. I was surprised how few options I had for T. The only two vegetables I could think of are thotakura / amaranthus leaves and tamata / tomato. This is one letter for which I really considered breaking only Telugu dishes rule. All I wanted to do was T for Tamatar ki Salan but sticking to my theme, I had to chose something else. I had finalized the list to thotakura fry, tamata pappu, tamata ukkera and also considered posting another version of tomato pachadi (chutney). After going back and forth, I finalized T for Tamata Pappu.

Tamata Pappu, Tomato Pappu, Tomato Pappu Charu,  Tomato Dal, Dal, Arhar Dal, Toor Dal, Kandi Pappu,  Telangana Food, Telangana Cuisine, Telugu Food, Indian Food, South Indian Food, Blogging Marathon, Journey Through the Cuisines, A-Z Challenge, A-Z Telangana Cuisine, Andhra Food,

I finished most of the cooking for this BM before April 1st and today’s is one of the few that got cooked this month. You might notice some new props in today’s pictures. As you might have read in Mirelle’s and Rajani’s posts, Pavani, Mirelle, Rajani and I met few days ago. Rajani hosted us and also took us on a shopping trip to a Christmas Tree Shop near her house. Apart from that, she also collected a few props for us. All the new props in tamata pappu pictures are either from Rajani or my loot from the Christmas Tree Shop. And the napkin is from Pavani. She was kind enough to share some of her fabrics with us and we were over joyed to share the fabric. So, you might see similar fabrics and props in our pictures and just hope we all don’t end up using same fabric and props on the same day! Thanks Rajani for hosting us and the lovely props you collected for us. Apart from shopping and eating delicious lunch prepared by Rajani, flavorful rice by Pavani and a yummy dessert from Mirelle, we also talked about photography, which seems to be a common interest for all four of us, apart from props shopping! It is always fun when like minded people meet and time just flies. Thank you guys and am blessed to be part of this BM family.

Coming back to today’s post, though I named it tamata pappu, tamata pappu charu might be an apt name. This pappu is thinner in consistency than the pappu I made for pachi pulusu, but thicker than pappu charu. We prefer lighter/thinner pappu and my version has a flowing consistency, yet thicker than pappu charu. Consistency of the pappu can be adjust to one’s preference by adding less water. Before getting to the recipe, a quick sneak into what else I considered for today. I also made thotakura fry for T but did not feel like posting it. While editing today’s post, I felt I need another picture right after this paragraph. I do not have any more tamata pappu pictures with a different composition or in a different angle, hence a preview of thotakura fry, which for now, is going to my drafts folder.

Thotakura Fry, Sauteed Amaranthus Leaves,

Dishes starting with T:
Tapala chekka / sarva pindi, tamata pachadi (chutney), tamata perugu pachadi (tomato yogurt chutney), tamata pachadi (pickle), tamata ukkera (tomato curry), tamata charu, tamata shorva, thotakura fry

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, shorva is made at least 2-3 times a week in almost all the households in our family circles. I have also noticed that many people outside my family & relatives circle do not know what shorva is. It is a stew or light gravy prepared with a vegetable, chicken or mutton. My theory about shorva is that it is a version of shorba from Hyderabad cuisine, which was adapted and modified by Telugu people to suite their palate and over the years, shorba became shorva. Of all the shorva’s, tomato shorva is one of the go to recipes in my family circles. It can be served with roti, chapathi, poori, rice, bagara and any veg pulaos. The key to good tomato shorva is sour tomatoes. Back home, desi tomatoes are preferred and here, I find vine ripe tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes the best variety to make shorva. Since tomato shorva is such a common preparation, I felt the need to mentioned it here.

Tamata Pappu, Tomato Pappu, Tomato Pappu Charu,  Tomato Dal, Dal, Arhar Dal, Toor Dal, Kandi Pappu,  Telangana Food, Telangana Cuisine, Telugu Food, Indian Food, South Indian Food, Blogging Marathon, Journey Through the Cuisines, A-Z Challenge, A-Z Telangana Cuisine, Andhra Food,

Serves: 4 – 6

To Cook Dal –

  • ½ cup Kandi Pappu ~ Toor Dal
  • ⅛ tsp. Jilakra ~ Cumin Seeds
  • Few drops of Oil
  • ¾ – 1 cup Water

Tamata Pappu –

  • 2 tbsp. Oil
  • ¼ tsp. Aavalu ~ Mustard Seeds
  • ½ tsp. Jilakara ~ Cumin Seeds
  • 6-10 Karivepaku ~ Curry Leaves
  • 1 small Ulligadda ~ Onion, diced
  • 6 small Pachi Mirapakaya ~ Green Chilies (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. Crushed Ellipaya ~ Garlic Cloves
  • ½ – 1 tsp. Dhaniyala Podi ~ Coriander Powder
  • Pasupu ~ Turmeric Powder
  • ½ Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 – 1 ½ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 3 medium sized Tamatalu ~ Vine Ripe Tomatoes, diced (about 2 ½ – 3 cups, though I used vine ripe, any variety can be used )
  • Cooked Toor Dal
  • 2 – 2 ¼ cups Water
  • Kothimeera ~ Coriander Leaves ~ Cilantro for garnish


  • Pre-cook Dal – Wash toor dal and take all the ingredients listed under cook dal to a pressure cooker. Cook until dal is soft. In my pressure cooker it is 7 whistles and then 5 minutes on low. Let the pressure release naturally. Keep aside
  • Tamata Pappu – Heat oil in a saucepan, add cumin and mustards, and let the seeds splutter.
  • Add curry leaves, green chilies and let curry leaves wither.
  • Add onions and saute until soft.
  • Add crushed garlic and saute for few seconds.
  • Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, salt and mix well. Roast for few seconds.
  • Add tomatoes and cook for until tomatoes are just soft but not mushy.
  • Add cooked dal, let it roast in the spices for few seconds.
  • Add water to desired consistency, bring to a boil and let boil for few minutes until tomatoes are soft and blend into the dal. Dal should not be very thick and at the same time, not very watery either.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning. Add chopped cilantro / coriander leaves and turn off the fire.
  • Serve hot with roti or rice.


  • When pre-cooking dal – tomatoes, few curry leaves, some of the garlic and few coriander leaves can also be added. Though curry leaves, garlic and coriander leaves are added when pre-cookings, these are added again when preparing the tamata pappu.
  • Shortcut Version – I like preparing dal in two steps, pre-cook dal and then make tomato dal. If one wishes to do it in one step and clean one less pot, then this dal can be cooked in a pressure cooker. Skip pre-cook dal step. In tamata pappu preparation, instead of cooked dal, add wash toor dal and let it roast for few seconds. Add about 1 cup of water and pressure cook until dal is cooked. Once pressure of the cooker releases naturally, check consistency of the dal, add more water if required, bring to boil, boil for few minutes, remove from fire and garnish with cilantro. In this method of preparation, add chili powder after pressure cooking dal.
  • With Moong Dal – I used toor dal/kandi pappu but moong dal can also be used. If using moong dal, I use only green chilies for spice and no chili powder. Red chilies can also be used for seasoning but I personally don’t like red chiles. Even if I do use, I discard the chilies as soon as the dal is cooked.
  • Consistency of Pappu – We prefer thinner and flowing consistency pappu and hence used about 2 – 2 ¼ cups of water to dilute the pappu. My version is more like thick pappu charu. Use less water for a thick consistency pappu.

This day in 2014: Amritsari Fish from Punjab
This day in 2015: Strawberry Cake
Events: This post also goes to A-Z Challenge for day 20, letter ‘T’.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

So far in this A-Z Journey Through Telangana Cuisine,
A for Attu Tunukala Koora
B for Biyyapattlu
C for Chegodi
D for Dondakaya Barada
E for Ellipaya Karam
F for Fenugreek (Menthi) Aaku Pesaru Pappu Koora
G for Garela Pulusu
H for Hyacinth Beans (Anapakaya) Annam
I for Iguru, Goru Chikkudukaya Iguru
J for Jonna Rotte
K for Kudumulu
L for Laddu
M for Makka Gudaalu
N for Nethichamili Muddalu
O for Odappalu
P for Pappu & Pachi Pulusu
Q for Qimah Vundalu
R for Royyala Koora
S for Sakinalu

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13 thoughts on “Tamata Pappu ~ Tomato Dal

  1. Comfort food! This is my to go dish on lazy days and your post reminds me that I haven’t posted it yet on my blog.☺
    And love all those ‘ithhadi’ props in that thotakoora fry image.

  2. Excellent daal and I am eyeing all those props. Yes I know you guys met and now I can see a lot of new stuff..isnt it wonderful meeting friends and receiving gifts which are related to our passion .

  3. Tomato pappu is a life saver on many busy weeknights and both my kids love it. It is so comforting and delicious.
    Thanks for your kind words. I always enjoy our meetings and look forward to meeting you guys again soon.

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