2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon oil (mustard or avocado)
1 ½ cups Masoor Dal (red lentils), rinsed and drained
1 onion – ½ diced, ½ thinly sliced
1 tomato, finely diced
½ inch ginger, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 dried red chili peppers (whole)
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 teaspoons panch phoran*
1 bay leaf
cilantro, to garnish
3 cups water
Small sauce pan
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan that is on medium heat. When oil is hot, add the diced onions and saute until it turns golden.
Add garlic and ginger. Stir to combine for a couple of minutes. Be cautious not to let the aromatics burn.
Add turmeric, chili powder, and then the tomatoes. Saute until the tomatoes soften and carmelize.
Add salt to taste.
Rinse and drain the lentils/dal and add and stir to combine with the onion, tomato, and aromatics mixture. Add water and bay leaf to the mixture, and let it come to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and let it simmer until the lentils cook down to a creamy consistency.
Remove the bay leaf.
While the lentils are on a simmer, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the sauce pan and add the finely sliced onion, the red chili, and the panch phoran.
Allow the spices to sputter (watch for splatter). This is known as tempering.
Add the tempered mix (including the perfumed oil) into the cooked dal. Stir. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Serve hot with rice (basmati) and (optional) sabji**
Notes and Instructions
*Panch Phoran is a traditional Bangladeshi mix of 5 spices. You can make your Panch Phoran using this combination:
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon nigella seeds (also called black cumin or kalonji)
1 ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
**Sabji is any sauteed vegetable. I served with roasted cauliflower. I cut the cauliflower into bite sized florets and seasoned with garlic, ground cumin powder, red chili powder, and salt. Then I roasted it in the oven at 325F for about 30 minutes until golden brown and a little crispy.
Recipe and photo credit: Vinola V. Munyon