June 28, 2008

Spicy Whole Masoor Dal (Pink Lentils)

This is one of those recipes I have come up with over the years. When I first started cooking, I was a bit out of my depth finding an “easy to put together” vegetable, lentil or anything that would be good with chappathis.
A good thing about lentils is that you will always find them in some variety or the other in Indian kitchens, and pink lentils and moong lentils do not even need to be soaked before cooking them. They're also comfort food to the Indian psyche and there are very few of us who do not like cooked lentils with our meals.

In my parents rice eating south Indian home (and my husband’s), chappathis were not considered “filling” enough for lunch or dinner but more of a “tiffin”. So while I didn’t find it too difficult to cook up a south Indian meal, finding something (to serve with chappathis or parathas) that was easy to cook, wholesome and tasty took a little longer.
I have since added a few such recipes or come up with my own concoctions that are now a part of my regular cooking.

This dal made with whole masoor dal or pink lentils is one of them. Whole masoor doesn’t need to be soaked in water before cooking it. It also cooks quickly and soft to a creamy consistency, so you don't even need to plan ahead for ths dish.

Quite a few North Indian style curries, at least the ones served in most Indian restaurants, are usually rich but home coked daily preparations are rarely cooked in ghee or with cream. These are reserved for special occasions.

This recipe of mine is creamy in texture from the lentils and yogurt which gives it a texture and tase reminiscent of cream, yet is light on the palate and the digestive system. Serve it warm with chappathis (or rice) and a slald for a complete meal.

Spicy Whole Masoor Dal (Pink Lentils)


2 cups cooked whole masoor (pink lentils)
2 onions, diced
1 big tomato, diced
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp garlic paste
2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
1/2 cup fresh yogurt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
2 tsp oil
1 – 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, for garnishing


Cook your lentils until they're well done but not mushy.
Grind the onions and tomato into a fine paste.
Heat the oil and add the ginger and garlic pastes. Saute and then add the green chillies and the onion tomato paste. Over medium heat sauté till the raw smell of onion disappears. If the paste looks too dry while sautéing, add 2 tbsps of water and continue cooking.
Once the paste is cooked add the turmeric, coriander, cumin and garam masala powders. Sauté a few times, and add the whole masoor/ lentils. If the lentils are too dry add enough water (between half and one cup should do) to ensure the dal is thick in consistency. Using a wooden spoon, lightly mash the lentils so that dal becomes a little thick in consistency. Add the salt, bring to a boil, turn down the heat and cook for about 5 minutes add it.
Whisk the yogurt and add to the dal, stirring continuously. Turn off the heat and mix the dal well to ensure the yogurt is well blended.
Do not turn up the heat or allow the dal to boil once the yogurt has been added or it will split/ curdle spoiling the appearance of the dish.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm with chappathis, parathas or rice.THis recipe should serve 4.


Siri said...

the dal looks yummy Aparna. Thanks for such a lovely entry!


Ivy said...

Hi Aparna. Thanks for participating in our event and your recipe is making me drool. I can only imagine what a great taste the lentils must have with all the lovely ingredients you have used.

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

hi aparna
thanks for pasing by my blog. Got some time now to browse and read the posts of my friends. Lovely innovation and you will never go wrong with spicy masoor ki daal, you know, isnt it !

TBC said...

I bought some whole masoor and whole urad dal from the store today and was wondering what to make. I'm going to try making masoor dal your way this time.

Rachel said...

I love that it is creamy and rich.in a healthy way...

Hima said...

I too cooked with whole masoor dal before exactly the same but without yogurt. I am sure adding yogurt will taste better. Got to give it a try.

KALVA said...

hmm never cooked with whol;e masoor. should try it then

Arundathi said...

absolutely lovely, aparna. i love puy!

skribles said...

looks like a nice creamy dal :) hv not tried using whole masoor - this one is a must try!

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks absolutely fabulous! I can't wait to make it.

Aparna said...

Love this dal and you've got to try it (if you haven't), its so easy to make.

Sunshinemom said...

Ekdum Hotel Jaisa:) Sahi hai:)

shefusohani said...

I think the yogurt will make all the difference..Looks very promising

Rajani said...

aparna after much consideration i have come to the conclusion that puy is not whole masoor. its similar but smaller and browner than puy which is greener and rounder. i think it would be more similar to whole arhar (sambhar parippu) i have never seen whole arhar in india. but here its available, i realised the difference because i bought it by mistake once thinking it to be chilka masoor - which i love!

Aparna said...

I think, perhaps, you are right about the puy lentils. I have seen puy lentils when we were in Portugal and they were slightly smaller but more brown than green though. I personally think whole masoor comes closest to puy lentils in taste, whereas I find whole arhar is different in this aspect.