An easy and spicy and delicious Masoor Dal made with spices and toasted garlic for an easy and nutritious weeknight dinner.
Masoor Dal with Toasted Spices, which I’m sharing today, is one of my favorite dishes to make on a hurried weeknight.
There are a number of reasons: masoor lentils, the red lentils you get when you split whole brown lentils, are among the most delicious of all dals used in Indian cooking with a flavor and texture that stand apart. Masoor lentils also cook easily, making them perfect for busy evenings when you have little time to throw together a meal that’s both nourishing and delicious.
What’s more, like all beans and lentils, masoor dal is packed with healthy protein and fiber. The lentils also don’t need to be pre-soaked, although I do soak them for a couple of hours when I have the time: it just reduces the cooking time further.
One of the things that makes this masoor dal dish really special is the toasty garlic. I let it brown a little before blending it with the rest of the spices which adds to the depth of flavor.
The Masoor Dal tastes great with brown rice or chapati, but you can also just eat it by itself, like a soup. One thing is certain: you will be back for seconds.
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Masoor Dal with Toasted Spices
- 1 cup dry masoor lentils (pink or red lentils), cooked until tender.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 red onion , sliced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4-5 cloves garlic , chopped into large pieces
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 14 oz diced tomatoes (or two tomatoes, diced)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp cayenne (use more or less per your heat tolerance)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp cilantro , chopped (or use mint)
- In a skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Remove to the blender.
- Toast the garlic in the skillet until it starts getting brown spots. Also add to blender along with the tomatoes.
- Blend until smooth.
- Heat oil and add onions and sugar. Cook on a medium flame for about 10 minutes until onions turn brown.
- Add the blended mixture of tomatoes and spices, chili powder, turmeric and salt, and cook until the mixture starts drying and turns a few shades darker.
- Add the lentils and cook for another 10 minutes. Add as much water as you like to thin out the dal to the preferred consistency.
- Garnish with cilantro or mint and serve hot.
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