Thursday, 1 November 2012

Masoor ki daal (green/ brown lentils)

This dish is a very fast easy family favourite!
You can buy these lentils in any English supermarket, they are normally labelled green lentils or brown lentils, they can vary a little in size too, but they are from the same family.

You can cook this as a vegan or vegetarian dish I shall give both variations so you can choose.  Masoor daal makes a great main with vegetable pillau rice or plain rice or roti or serve it with side dishes, it is such an easy dish to accompany with any vegetable.

You can also decide to make this dish Sathvick just remove the garlic and onions, it takes on a whole new flavour complex.

Ingredients for serving 4-6

  • I cup of Masoor daal, washed.  Wash the daal well in a sieve, most daal sold in english supermarkets are quite clean so don't need sifting and repeated washing. You can soak the daal the night before this will speed up cooking but it is not absolutely necessary for this lentil, if you do this just add a little less water on cooking.
Tarka - We cook the daal and tarka separately and then combine them.
  • 3tbsp Light olive oil or (Ghee-clarified butter if you are making this vegetarian)
  • 1/2 Chopped onion
  • 1" fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped/ grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely/ grated
  • 1 -2 fresh green chilli's chopped (the more you put in the hotter it gets)
  • 1/2 tin tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Cumin/ Jeera
  • 1/2 tsp Oragano seeds/ Ajowan seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric/ Haldi
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Hand full of fresh chopped coriander


  1. Add your washed daal to a thick based pan, and top up with 2" or 5cm boiling water from kettle (this just speeds up the cooking). Cover and set it going at a medium heat so the lentils will boil and cook but not boil over.  It takes about 20mins for them to be cooked, but taste nicer the more you cook them longer.  Whilst cooking your lentils may develop a white froth, just skim this off with a ladle and tip it down the sink. While these are cooking we can cook our Tarka.
  2. In a second pan add your oil/ghee, set the pan at a slow heat this is the secret to good tasting Indian cooking, this recipe is pretty idot proof, just keep your heat low and you can't go wrong.  Add your cumin seeds and ajowan seeds, when they begin to crackle add your onion.
  3. Cook the onion till it is light brown and then add your garlic, ginger and chilli, stirring frequently.
  4. Continue to cook this till the garlic and ginger is brown too, if the ginger starts to stick to the pan just add a couple of tea spoons of water and stir until it comes free.
  5. Once the mix is caramel coloured, add your dry spices and salt and tomatoes, you have now made your tarka.
  6. Continue to cook this for a few more minutes until it is bubbling together nicely and the tomatoes have started breaking down, then add the tarka to your daal pot!  Add a little of the daal liquor to your tarka pan to make sure you get all the yummy spices and oil off and add back to the daal pot.
  7. If the lentils are cooked they will be split in the middle and the lentils inside will be soft and mashy between your fingers.  If not just continue to cook them till they are.  I like to cook my daal for a good 20mins once I have added the tarka, you can cook it for longer on a slow heat the flavours just develop further. Taste it and add more salt if you like more.
  8. Last stage is to add your coriander and serve with rice or roti and enjoy! 

No comments:

Post a comment