Some people reach for chicken soup when they're under the weather, but I gravitate toward the earthy spices of Indian and Thai cooking. Dal, especially Masoor Dal, is one of those hearty, protein-filled dishes that I could eat all day. I prefer to serve it over rice, though it can be eaten by itself (like a soup) as well.
For this recipe, I used Jiva certified USDA Organic Split Red Lentils. It cooks quickly (being split and skinned), and contains amino acids like lysine, as well as fiber, folate, and B1 (so it's tasty AND good for you). This brand comes straight from India, without any additives, and the huge 2 lbs. bag lasts me for a long time.
- 1 cup red lentils (or dal)
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 green chili (I used a jalapeño), chopped and seeded (depending on how hot you like things)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- Broth or water
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 cup cream
- Oil for sautéing
- Salt to taste
- Rinse the lentils, then soak them in the water for 20 minutes.
- Heat oil in a pan (I used leftover bacon grease, because I'm not picky)
- Fry up the cumin for a minute.
- Add the onions and fry for 3-4 minutes, until browned.
- Add ginger paste and fry for another minute, while stirring to distribute it evenly.
- Add the tomatoes and green pepper and fry until tomato bits become soft.
- Add the turmeric and cayenne, and mix well.
- Drain the soaked lentils and add them to the pan.
- Simmer the lentils on medium-low.
- As they break down while cooking, you'll need to add liquid (I prefer homemade chicken stock, but you can use broth or water as well).
- When the desired doneness is reached, add the cream and garam masala and turn off the heat.
- Stir to mix well, and serve.
Don't be put off by the number of steps- this takes about 30 minutes in total (sans lentil-soaking time) and feeds at least 4 people. It's great on a cold day and really opens the sinuses!
*I received the lentils for free from Tomoson in exchange for my honest review.
Labels: dal, indian, main dish, product review, recipe