Sunday, June 16, 2013

Masoor Dal



May was a busy month for us.  One kid graduating from high school and one kid graduating from middle school; lots of year end activities – concerts, awards assemblies, graduation ceremonies, graduation parties, balvihar picnic, a friend’s 50th birthday – the list goes on and on.  We were also leaving for India right after school ended. 

With so much going on, it was difficult for me to plan meals in advance and we were making do with quick and easy dinners and leftovers.

Masoor dal is so easy to make.  I love masoor dal.  It cooks quickly and tastes great.

Masoor Dal

Here is what you need:


  • 1 cup masoor dal (red lentils)
  • water
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1tsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch of hing (asafetida)
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1” piece of ginger, slivered
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • little bit of chili powder and freshly roasted and ground cumin powder
  • few sprigs of chopped cilantro
  • juice of ½ lemon

Here is how I make it:



  1. Wash the masoor dal
  2. Add the dal and enough water to a saucepan and cook on medium heat till the dal is done. It should take about 15 minutes. It cooks very quickly and you don’t need to use a pressure cooker. 
  3. In a skillet, heat oil and ghee.
  4. Add the cumin seeds.  When it changes color, add the hing, green chilies, garlic, and ginger. Add the chopped onions and saut√© for a few minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and turmeric powder.  Cook till the mixture becomes pulpy.
  6. Add this mixture to the saucepan with the dal.  Add salt and let this simmer on low for about 5 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat.  Garnish with chili powder, freshly roasted and ground cumin, cilantro, and lemon juice.
  8. Serve hot with rice or rotis.

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