Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dal - Masoor (Lentil Soup)

My sister in law asked for a dal recipe. In our house we eat Masoor dal - they are orange round lentils - are the most popular. I can't have a meal without them but with the rising prices of food and especially staples in Bangaldesh - Masoor dal is getting expensive =(

Anyway, there are many different ways to make the dal. Each family or individual has their own methods. Like in my kitchen - I cook it totally different than Alom, our personal manager cum cook. So, below is my version which my friend Niyati learned recently and enjoys quite a bit =) The key to this is the balance of turmeric and salt - so give it a shot and you will learn what amounts you prefer!


1 cup - Masoor dal
2 1/2 chopped - med. Garlic cloves
1 chopped - med. Onion
1 tsp. - Turmeric powder
1 split - Green chili
Cilantro for garnish
Salt to taste
2 tbsp. - Oil (adjust to your need)
about 3 cups of Water (adjust to your need)

1 chopped - Tomato
1 tsp. - Paach foron

1) Wash and soak the daal in water for about an hour or two.

2) Heat oil in a pot, add the onions then garlic. Fry them till the onions are about transparent.

3) Drain the water from the lentils. Add them to the pot, add the turmeric and salt - leave on med-high heat. Fry it in the oil mix for about a minute. Add the water.

4) Once the water starts to boil heavily, lower the heat, cover and let simmer for 15-20 mins. Check in once in a while and stir. Check for salt balance. The water evaporates, so of you want it very liquidy, add more water. I like mine a little thick so I leave it as is. Adjust per your need and taste.

5) Once you are satisfied with the consistency - you can do 1 of two things.

- Add the green chili and cilantro and serve -or -
- Do a tadka (see optional below).


Tadka: Heat another small pan with about 1-2 tsp. of oil. Add the paach foron. Once it starts to splutter add a tiny bit of onion and garlic. Once the onions are transparent - take a spoonful of the dal into the tadka. Then pour the whole tadka into the dal. Stir and mix well. Add green chili and cilantro and serve!

At about middle way through the cooking - like at 8 mins or so - if you want you can add chopped tomatoes or green mangoes. It gives it a sour tangy taste and a different consistency.