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Masoor Daal Recipe

Masoor Daal

Masoor daal cooks relatively quickly so this is a simple dish that can be used as a main meal, a side dish or a tasty supper dish, it is also a good base for other ingredients so see optional extras at the end.

Basic Ingredients

1 breakfast cup masoor daal.
1 medium onion.
2 cloves garlic.
inch (1cm) root ginger.
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut.
Chilli powder.
teaspoon Garam Masala.
teaspoon turmeric.
3 teaspoons yoghurt.
Juice of lime.
Coriander leaves.
Oil for frying

Notes on Ingredients

Chillies. I use about teaspoon in these quantities but obviously you can use more or less; or you can substitute finely chopped, red or green fresh chillis.

Yoghurt. Cooked like this the dish can be a little dry. This may be how you want it especially as a side dish, but one day I thought hmmm, add a little yoghurt - it was good. You can also use cream, butter, milk or plain old water (depending on the level of cholesterol you wish to inflict on your arteries).

Salt. I left this out my mistake once and when I first tasted it I thought 'this needs salt'. Then all the other flavours came through and I have never used it in this dish since. A matter of taste.

Oil. Ghee or mustard oil is best use butter or sunflower oil as alternatives.

Coriander and lime juice. Again optional these are garnishes to give different tastes but I do always use them if I have them.

Basic method

Soak the lentils in water for 1-1 hours.
Peel and finely chop the onion.
Peel and chop the ginger into tiny dice.
If using fresh chillies the finely chop these.
Peel and mash or finely chop the garlic.
Boil water in a pan and put in the soaked lentils, boil for about 10-15 minutes until soft.
Strain through a sieve and wash the lentils with water. Heat oil in a saucepan.
Add onions, garlic, ginger and fresh chillies if using.
Cook until onions are soft.
Add all the garam masala, chilli powder (if using) turmeric and salt (if using).
Stir these round and cook for a couple more minutes.
Put in the daal and mix thoroughly.
Put in the coconut and mix thoroughly.
Add yoghurt or other liquid if you wish.
Add a handful of chopped coriander leaves.
Tip out into a bowl.
Squeeze juice of a lime over and mix with a spoon

Notes on Method

Soaking the lentils. Should be soaked for at least hour, some recipes suggest that masoor daal should be soaked for 2 hours. I can't find any reference to a good reason for this, and some recipes suggest you can just wash the lentils. The water you soak them in does go a bit cloudy so something must be happening. I soak them for about 30-45 minutes and change the water every 10-15 minutes then rinse through with cold water. You may also want to remove any bits with the hull still on, though I would suggest it is unlikely to kill you if you don't.

If using mustard oil then heat till it just starts to smoke.

Optional Extras

If you want to make your masoor daal a more substantial main meal you can do so by adding stuff. Options I have tried are:-

Boiled, cubed potatoes.
Prawns - use cooked prawns and add with the lentils just to heat them up.
Chopped up cooked chicken

I'm sure there are other things - have fun.

Traditionally eaten with boiled rice but I have used naan instead and this is nice. Good pickles and chutney are excellent accompaniments.

If you are using this as a main meal then the above quantities, together with rice or bread will serve 2 people. It may serve more as a supper snack or a side dish or if you beef it up with the optional extras.

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