Masoor dal

  • Serves: 2-4
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 cup masoor dal, washed
  • 5 cups water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 6-8 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • 2-3 fresh red chillies, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 heaped tsp. Tamarind pulp
  • 1 tsp. dried coriander, ground
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
Masoor dal

The foundations for this recipe for this tangy masoor Dal recipe were kindly submitted to Kitchen Geekery by Sara Hafiz.

Dal (also spelled Dahl or Daal, or Dhal) is a preparation of dried lentils, peas, or beans, which have been hulled and split and used to prepare a thick stew.

Dal is a comfort food, which is a healthy source of protein, and an important part of south Asian cuisine. Dal is regularly eaten with rice and vegetables in Southern India, and with rice and roti (wheat-based flat bread) throughout Northern India and Pakistan.

I love Sri Lankan cuisine, particularly their spicy curries – cooked in coconut milk and flavored with aromatic curry leaves and tangy tamarind. Sri Lankan cuisine also has a wide variety of tasty sambols – side dishes served alongside curries, spicy fish curries, and fruit curries – which are common in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan cuisine is much spicier than South Indian cuisine and many spicy of their popular curries are known to be amongst the hottest in the world.

Curry leaves are the most flavorful aromatic leaves; you can find them in any Asian grocery store in your area. They are also perfect for tempering (tadka) the dal recipes. I decided to use split red lentils make the masoor dal.

The Tamarind gives the dal a sweet tangy taste, which compliments the creamy coconut milk. I like to use a block of fresh tamarind block rather than the paste; it has much fresher, stronger flavour.

Method

  1. Put the dal and tamarind in a medium pot with the water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Add the coconut milk, salt, cayenne chilli powder, and turmeric to the dal and simmer for five minutes.
  3. For the tempering mixture heat a wok or a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and then add the olive oil, shallots and garlic and lightly brown.
  4. To the same wok or skillet add the; curry leaves, red chillies, and ground coriander, then mix well and cook for another minute or so.
  5. Add the tempering mixture into the dal.
  6. Simmer the dal for 5 more minutes at a low heat.
  7. Serve with steamed basmati rice, naan or chapatti.
The tamarind is best described as sweet and sour in taste, and is high in acid, sugar, B vitamins and, interestingly for a fruit, calcium.

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