Desi Cooking: Dal/Indian Lentils

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What to carry for lunch was something that I constantly thought about while I was working in the U.S. Those who worked with me quickly figured out my mantra: dal or Indian Lentils. This protein heavy and healthy meal was my lunch ritual. I simply LOVE dal-any type for that matter. Dal is also a staple Indian meal; you will probably find it at everyone’s house. It’s easy to eat with rice or roti.

Here is a quick overview of making Moong Dal.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Moong Dal (soak it in warm water for at least 30 minutes before cooking-can be found in any Indian grocery store)
1 green chilli
1/2 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (according to taste)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon jeera seeds
1/2 tablespoon oil
Salt per taste
Coriander Leaves for garnish

Directions:

1) Add oil to the pressure cooker. Add chopped onions and let them turn light brown (on low to medium heat)
2) Add chopped garlic and finely chopped green chilli. Saute them for 1-2 minutes.
3) Add all the dry masala (red chilli powder, coriander powder, and turmeric). If the mixture is too dry, you can turn the flame on low and add water and mix everything together.
4) Add the soaked dal (the lentils themselves will have become bigger and softer due to the soaking). Add another cup of water to this. Now you can pressure cook the dal for 10 minutes (2-3 whistles). You can make dal using a regular pot, it will just take much longer.
5) Open pressure cooker lid and see consistency of dal. If it’s too thick and stick to the sides of the pan, you can add more water on a low flame.
6) Add diced tomatoes and mix on a low flame.

Tempering
1) Take a separate pan, and add 1 teaspoon of oil to it.
2) Once oil is hot, add jeera seeds to the oil. You will know the jeera is cooked with the seeds start to sputter immediately. Turn off gas and pour this mix over the ready dal.

As a final presentation and taste touch, you can add chopped coriander leaves to the dal. I didn’t have coriander ready at home so wasn’t able to add it to the dish.

Hope this turns out well. I tried my best to memorise the measurements of all ingredients. Let me know how the recipe is.

Pictorial Description of Recipe:

Moong Dal (Lentils)

Moong Dal (Lentils)

Indian Spices: Red Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder, & Turmeric

Indian Spices: Red Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder, & Turmeric

Ingredients: Onion, Green Chilli, Garlic, & Tomatoes

Ingredients: Onion, Green Chilli, Garlic, & Tomatoes

After adding all masalas and onions

After adding all masalas and onions

Adding some dal and water to the pressure cooker

Adding some dal and water to the pressure cooker

Dal after being cooked via pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles

Dal after being cooked via pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles

Added diced tomatoes and dal is ready for tempering

Added diced tomatoes and dal is ready for tempering

Tempering

Tempering

Final Dish!!

Final Dish!!

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