Monday, 5 January 2015

Red Split Lentil Stew- Dhuli Masoor ki Dal

A rainy weather and sunshine playing hide and seek. Mom's taking clothes on and off the clothesline every time it drizzles and stops. And I am feeling exceptionally lazy this Monday. They might as well replace Garfield's face with mine. However, by the time of writing this post I have finished off almost all of my other work. So I can spend time here on my favorite activity.

This lentil stew took me only about 40 minutes to cook out of which about 30 minutes are attributed to idle cooking. So I essentially spent only 20 minutes in the kitchen including prep time for this recipe. This is not an every day recipe for me. It is light and easy but it just isn't ingrained in me as an every day flavor. So it is a great change and makes a meal kind of special.

What I find best about this recipe is that it is so grainy. I love the texture and the taste. Obviously it can be made smooth but that just isn't my the way I prefer it. I like to bite into the grains, to feel the mellowed roughness of the pulses. This dal is neither too strongly flavored nor too mild. You can easily adjust the quantity of spices to that which suits you. I kept the spices modest and it tasted perfect with plain rice and chapati.

I have been fawning over one-pot recipes lately, like this pasta recipe, and this dal is just one such recipe. Heat the oil, sauté onion and spices and dump the lentils in water and cook. That's it. I mean you come across such a ridiculously simple Indian recipe only once in a while. Talk about dal makhani and maa ki dal, right?

By the time lunch was over, the clouds had cleared from the sky and it was a warm yet breezy weather again. I just wanted to take a nap but resisted.  The weather is too pleasant today to sleep it off. However, I don't have anything else to do either. Right now it is a cup of cinnamon tea, my laptop and I in the courtyard, confused whether to keep chatting away or just stop at this pleasant note until next time.

The tea turning cold says the latter. So you enjoy the recipe and I will see you soon with a new one.


Red split lentil- 1 cup
Onion, chopped- 1 big
Garlic, finely chopped- 1 tsp
Ginger, grated- 1 tsp
Tomatoes, chopped- 1 medium
Oil- 4 tbsp
Asafoetida- 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder- 1 and a half tsp (adjust)
Coriander powder- 2 tsp
Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Fresh chopped coriander to garnish
Lemon juice to taste (optional)


Wash lentils and soak in water. Keep aside.

Meanwhile, chop and grate ingredients as required.

Heat oil in a kadhai.

Temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida.

Add chopped garlic. Fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds.

Add grated ginger. Fry another few seconds.

Add chopped onions. Sauté until soft and translucent.

Add all powdered spices except garam masala.

Fry for a minute.

Add soaked lentils with about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water.

Add salt. Stir and bring to a boil on high heat.

Simmer and cook covered until lentils are cooked. Check by pressing a grain between your index finger and thumb.

If you want a thicker stew, cook uncovered on high heat until you achieve desired thickness, taking care not to burn it.

Add garam masala and garnish with coriander leaves.

A sprinkle of lemon juice while serving enhances flavors.