Masoor Dal or split Red Lentils is a popular Indian dish. Healthy and hearty, cooked the right way with the right ingredients. A good source of fibre or protein substitute.
I have been incorporating the addition of lentils (namely the red lentils) in stews or cottage pies as an additional source of fibre as well as reducing the amount of red meat consumed. Not every stomach is capable of taking in a complete diet of pulses, as a popular side effect of consuming too much fibre-rich lentils is cramping & bloating. As such, a small amount of lentils are added into most of my meat dishes. Red lentils is also the quickest to cook of the pulses.
Whenever I use lentils, I simply soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before use. They absorb water fairly quickly and will double in size. No need to use the pressure cooker unless you want a mushy product.
Masoor Dal/Indian Red Lentils
1 cup dry masoor dal/red lentils
1/2 onion, diced
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes (more if you prefer)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
1 tablespoon chopped coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Soak the lentils in water for at least 30 minutes or until doubled in size. You might want to soak them in a ratio of 1:2 lentils:water or 2 cups water to 1 cup lentils.
- Fry the cumin & mustard seeds in some oil.
- Add the onion, tomato, garlic & chilli flakes. Fry till the onion turns clear or translucent.
- Add in the lentils and enough water to cover the lentils and more. An 1″ above the top of the lentils height as an estimate amount.
- Add the curry powder & fennel powder. Mix and allow to boil.
- When the ‘stew’ reaches boiling point, turn the heat to simmer.
- It should take about 30 minutes for the lentils to be cooked soft. Do check that there is sufficient water to cook. Add more water if required, but do not add too much. This is not meant to be a soup.
- Add the chopped coriander & salt to taste.
- Serve with white rice, naan, dosa (thosai) or idly.