Masoor Daal

Daal is one of those dishes that just brings comfort in one bite. Everyone loves daal, right? I love it too if it’s well made and unfortunately, I’ve had many daal mishaps. I just could not find the right recipe until Dee’s mom taught me her secrets. Enjoy!

  • 1 cup of split orange lentils
  • 2 large onions, chopped finely
  • 2 green chilies (Indian chilies for spicy or Thai chilies for very spicy)
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of asefetida
  • A 2-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 2 + 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

1.Wash the daal in a bowl of water. Set aside soaking in warm water for 30 minutes.

2. Drain the lentils and boil into 3 cups of water and the asefetida and salt. Let them boil until tender – about 20 minutes.

3.In a hot pan, heat the mustard seeds until they split and the mustard leaves until softened. Remove from the heat and set aside. Add the oil and fry the onions until soft and golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic and continue to fry for one minute.

4.Add the remaining spices. Stir until well incorporated and continue to fry for a couple minutes.

5.Add the boiled lentils and the stock to make a tick gravy-like consistency. Mix well and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Remove from the heat, add in the cilantro and serve hot!

Notes from Miriam:

  • Add a dash of black salt when boiling the lentils for added flavour.
  • I dare you to taste the asefetida. It literally tastes like farts on its own!
  • People often confuse the different green chilies. Thai chilies are small, Indian chilies are pointy and Serrano chilies are rounder.
  • Chop the chilis coarsely so people can avoid them if they do not like food too spicy.
This is what curry leaves look like.