A unique feature of Konkani cuisine is the use of ground fresh coconut in dal. Here is one example, which is one of my favorites. It is best enjoyed with white rice and a simple vegetable.
1 cup toor dal, soaked for 1/2 hour
1/2 tsp turmeric pwdr
4 tbsp blanched spinach, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tsbp fresh/ frozen coconut
1 tsp coriander seeds, roasted in oil
3 red chillies, roasted in oil
2 tbsp tamarind paste
Grind the coconut mix to a fine paste in a blender using a little warm water. In a pressure cooker or over low heat, cook the dal along with turmeric. When cooked, mash the dal well an add the cooked spinach to it. Boil the dal well, and add the coconut paste mix to it. Add salt per taste, and check for sourness. The dal should have a mild sour taste; if more is desired add more tamarind. Cook for about 5-8 mins more.
To temper the dal, heat 2 tbsp oil in a separate vessel and saute the garlic for 3-4 mins. Add this to the dal at the end.
Remember not to cook the dal for too long after the coconut mix has been added as this can cause the coconut to spoil.