• Lydia

Daily Dal (masoor dal)

I have been wanting to experiment more with lentils for a while. They are a superfood with numerous health benefits. They are high in protein, folate, iron, fiber plus many many more essential nutrients. If not cooked right they can be mushy and bland. I wanted a delicious meal so I turned to my favorite Indian cookbook : Made in India by Meera Sodha.


This recipe is her creation but adapted by me. It's pretty easy to follow and quick to assemble. I served it with rice, cilantro chutney, fiery garlic chutney, and flatbread. My husband, who hates lentils, LOVED this meal and went back for thirds.



Masoor Dal, Daily Dal

Ingredients:

1 cup red lentils

2 Tbsp canola oil

12 peppercorns, optional

4 cloves, optional

1 onion thinly sliced

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeling and grated finely

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp salt

11 ounces canned plum tomatoes *


Directions:

In a sieve, rinse the lentils until the water runs clear, then drain and put into a deep, lidded saucepan. Add 2 1/2 cups water, bring to a boil over a medium to high heat, then cover with the lid and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes without stirring, until thoroughly cooked. Like pasta, lentils will be tender when cooked.


Meanwhile, put the oil into another deep, lidded saucepan on a medium heat. When it's hot, add the peppercorns and cloves if you are using them (I recommend using them). Fry for about a minute, or until you can smell them, then add the onion. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until golden.


Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for another 4 minutes before adding chili powder, coriander, turmeric, and salt. Stir will, then add the canned tomatoes. If they're whole, pour them out with one hand and crush them with your other hand to break them up before they hit the pan. Cover, turn the heat down, and simmer for about 8 minutes.


*I did not have canned tomatoes when I made this, so I buzzed up some fresh cherry tomatoes in the food processor (same amout-11 oz) and used those instead.


Once the tomatoes are looking a bit darker and paste-like, add the lentils. Pour in any remaining water they were boiling in a little at a time, until you get a good consistency (I liked mine on the thicker side).


Finally, cover the pan with the lid again and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes more.


Taste and adjust the salt and spices or consistency as you see fit. Serve with flat bread, rice, chutneys, and yogurt. (Remember to look out for the cloves and peppercorns if you used them).


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