Delicious Dal

February 28, 2009 § 1 Comment

I used to really dislike Indian foods, but it was only because I hadn’t really had anything good to start with. Moving to Atlanta changed that, as there’s a pretty good sized population here and a plethora of choices in nearby Decatur. After having a version of this at a local Bangladeshi restaurant, I knew I wanted to make my own.

There are a lot of masoor dal (red lentil) soup recipes out there, but I’ve adapted this one to use the Turkish brown lentils that I buy in bulk from the farmer’s market, along with subs for fresh ingredients in case I haven’t made it to the store. With this recipe, I always have the ingredients on hand to make a delicious hearty meal in a pinch.

Dal Soup
(recipe adjusted from Renjna’s Masoor Dal soup recipe)

  • 2 cups dried whole Masoor dal or other lentils (I use whole brown Turkish lentils instead of masoor)
  • water to cover
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (you can remove seeds if too spicy, or sub 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalepenos)
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (I use Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Vegetable base)
  • juice of 1/2 fresh lime (or 1 tbsp. of lazy lime)
  • additional salt to taste
  • Dal

    Sort and wash the dal until the water runs clear. Place the dal in a soup pot and add water to cover by about 2 inches. Add the turmeric and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes, until the dal is soft and beginning to fall apart. Once dal gets very thick, add the vegetable stock and lime juice.

    Dal soup

    Heat the oil in a frying pan. Mince the garlic, coarsely chop the jalapenos (remove the seeds if you don’t want the dal to be very hot). Add the garlic and jalapenos to the oil, along with the cumin, garam masala and salt. Saute for a few minutes, until the garlic begins to brown. Add this mixture to the dal. Mix well (you may need to add a little dal to the frying pan and pour this back into the pot to get all the spices out of the pan). Simmer for another 20 minutes or so to blend all the flavors well. Adjust salt, if desired.

    Serve hot with toasted nan on the side.

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