Masoor Dal / Red Lentils

I still consider myself a newbie in the blogging world. Just taking baby steps and learning new things everyday about the digital platform. So while trying to keep up to the pace of this media, I also happen to have my Insta handle which goes by the same name. At times it’s very tricky and I have to take help from my teenagers and I enjoy learning new things as much as they enjoy teaching me 😉

Having two teenagers at home, I must say that this phase is as much a turning point for them as much as for us as parents. Kids suddenly seem to have grown up and now are trying to teach us new things. We love listening to them and enjoy times when they think we are so dumb that we don’t know anything (The Teenage Effect) 😉

My daughter keeps laughing at her dad saying “Papa, you don’t know anything about Instagram. Why are you even there?”

She helped me set up my blog and takes pride in calling herself my administrator though she hasn’t really had the time to look back after setting it up 🙂 But I am really proud of both of them as they encourage me in what I am doing and keep giving me inputs all the time. Also if they are in the mood to help 😉 they help me by clicking some of my food pics and then just keep bragging about how good they are at photography compared to a newbie like me 🙂 Both of them have even set up a separate photography account on Instagram for posting their pics 🙂

Coming back to what I actually wanted to say. So there are thousands of bloggers like me on Instagram and what I like about them is that they all help each other. It’s a great community. Some of them come together and often host competitions with various themes which I am still trying to learn. A co-blogger had forwarded me the details of one such competition which had a theme of Lentils as the star of the dish. Keeping that theme in mind, I had decided to make one of my favourite dals and participate in that competition but unfortunately I missed posting it during the set time frame.

Talking about the Lentil, we have a variety of lentils that we cook regularly and Masoor dal happens to be my favourite amongst them. It’s a great source of protein, essential amino acids, potassium, iron, fiber and vitamin B1. It also helps to lower cholesterol and control sugar levels. Besides eating I also grind it into fine powder and use it as scrub for the face. It’s great for the skin too 🙂 But as of now lets concentrate only on eating 🙂

As I keep saying, there is no right or wrong recipe. It’s up to us to give a soul to that dish. Here’s my way of cooking it…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry masoor dal ( red lentils), sorted and washed thoroughly
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp whole mustard seed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 Amchur powder (Dry Mango Powder)
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander, for garnish

Method

  1. Combine the dal (lentils) and water in a pressure cooker or a large pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer. Skim off any foam that collects on top. Cook, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, usually 20-25 minutes. If cooking in the pressure cooker, just cook upto 2-3 whistles and turn off the gas and let it cool.
  2. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the oil and garlic, ginger, curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and chillies. Stir it for a minute and then add chopped onion to it. Fry until it turns translucent.
  3. Next add in the red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder, along with the salt. Stir to combine and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes. Cook about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked lentils, and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add water as needed.
  5. Simultaneously, take a small tadka pan. Add some oil and let it heat. Once the oil is hot, add some chopped garlic and some mustard seeds and some fried onions. Stir it well for a minute and add it to the dal on top. This step is optional if you love the burnt garlicky taste added to the dal.
  6. Garnish with lots of coriander and serve hot with steam rice or chapatis.

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