Monday, January 06, 2020

Red Lentil Dal with Cumin Seeds

I made my first red lentil (masoor) dal almost a decade ago.  It was delicious and flavored with many of the spices I have come to associate with Indian food.

In the interim years I have fallen victim to the idea that every Indian dish I make should have all of the spices I associate with Indian food in them.  Everything I have made is delicious, but it has all tended to taste the same.  So when my friend @virg.o121 on Instagram offered me her recipe for dal I must admit I was skeptical, as the only spices in it were turmeric, red chili, and cumin seeds.

But she was kind enough to share it with me, so I decided to make it.  And am I glad I did!  This recipe brought home to me how less is often so much more when it comes to food.  The lentils have a simple but surprisingly complex flavor and the cumin really shines!

It went together well with cilantro lime rice and would also be good with chapatis or roti.  And it comes together quickly for a fast weeknight meal.

Home Cookin v9.76 Chapter: Beans and Vegetables
1 cup red lentils
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove grated or crushed garlic
1 medium tomato, chopped, or 1 Tbsp tomato paste
cayenne to taste
salt to taste
1/3 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine the red lentils with enough water to cover by three inches in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer over medium-low heat until tender, about 20 minutes.

When the lentils are done heat the oil over medium-high heat in a medium sized skillet. When the oil is hot add the cumin and let sizzle for about a minute, until it starts to crackle. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and golden.

Add the tomato/tomato past along with the salt, cayenne and turmeric. Saute for several seconds to bloom the spices.

Add the onion and spice miture to the red lentils and let it simmer until it reaches the desired consistency, adding water as necessary. Keep in mind that it will thicken once removed from the heat.

Remove from the heat and add the chopped cilantro.

recipe by instagrammer @virg_o12

exported from Home Cookin v.9.76 (

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