Seasoned Dhal (Masala Dhal)


1 cup masoor dal (small orange, a.k.a. "red," lentils)

3 cups water

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

½ cup well stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk

¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt


Bring lentils and 3 cups water to a boil with turmeric in a 2 quart heavy saucepan, then gently simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until falling apart, about 20 minutes.

When lentils are cooked, heat oil in a small heavy skillet over medium high heat until it shimmers, then cook mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and red pepper flakes until mustard seeds begin to pop and/or turn gray and cumin seeds brown, about 1 minute.

Stir spice mixture into lentils with coconut milk, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt and bring to a simmer.


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