Thursday, 26 September 2013

Masoor Dal

simple and easy protein rich curry made from red lentils

Masoor dal or red lentils is one of the most popularly used dals in India.This is basically the split lentil  and red in colour.The whole masoor dal is also called Kali dal.Masoor dal is one dal i have grown up eating.In my home dals are not prepared as much as in Navin's home.For us dal means masoor dal...there are no two ways about it.Honestly i came to know about  the existence of such a wide variety of dals after being in Delhi.

Dal is comfort food..not for me..but for Navin.For me its rasam..:)..Once every few days he needs some dal.Masoor dal is something i stock always because of the ease of preparing and the less cooking time required.Masoor dal need not be soaked but  i always soak all my dals..specially after reading about the reasons for soaking in Dassana's blog.
I am not a dal fan..but in Navin's place more than vegetables, dals are consumed.. different varieties of dal.And  i was just used to masoor dal ,toor dal in sambar.So the sudden exposure to  moong dal,kali dal, toor dal as dal,channa dal, urad dal as dal( we used it only to make idli dosha batter!! ) was a little too much for me.. I remember when  i went back home after 5-6 months of marriage,the first thing i told amma was that i dont want any dal as long as i stay there..Now i have developed   a liking for dal and also make different types of dal at home..But somehow when in cochin, at my place, the order still stands.. no dals!!!Funny coincidence,during my pregnancy i just could not bear to cook or eat dals...But let  me admit , masoor dal is  a great help for me these days.Those days when little shanaya choses  not to take  a long nap, masoor dal comes to the rescue.. the only time required is to cut the onions and tomatoes ..just throw it all together in pressure cooker and its done.My amma always makes masoor dal in  a kadai and that has a special  is the amma special  taste!!But these days i make this quick version and believe me its tasty..Navin has big katoris of this dal..Dals are one thing i can make in large quantities...i am sure it will be over...[Chuckle...:) ]

Health benefits
· Masoor dal contain high levels of proteins, including the essential amino acids isoleucine and lysine, and are an essential source of inexpensive protein in many parts of the world for those who adhere to a vegetarian diet or cannot afford meat
· Apart from a high level of proteins, masoor dal also contain dietary fiber, Folate, vitamin B1, and mineralsall with virtually no fat.
· Masoor dal are rich in fiber but lesser than the percentage present in whole and husked dals.
· They are a good source of potassium and iron.

A popular Indian dal

Ingredients i used

1 cup masoor dal/red lentils
1 tbspn ghee or refined oil( i prefer ghee for dals)
1 onion chopped
3 tomatoes chopped
1/2 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn  red chilli powder(add according to your tolerance levels.)or 2 green chillies
1 and 1/2 tspn garam masala,
1 tspn cumin powder
1 tspn ginger paste , 
1 tspn garlic paste
salt to taste
3 and 1/2 cups water
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish(chopped)

For tempering

1 tbspn ghee
1 tspn mustard and Cumin seeds
2  dry red chillies

Pls note:Tempering can be done in the beginning or separately in the end.Normally i do it in teh pressure cooker itself..but today i did the tempering separately.

How i made it.

 Heat the ghee in the pressure cooker.If tempering in the beginning ,add mustard seeds.When they splutter add cumin seeds and red chillies.Then add other ingredients as given below.
If skipping the tempering, when the ghee is heated, add inions,tomatoes,ginger paste, garlic, paste , and all spice powders.Give it a good stir.Now add in the  dal followed by the water. Adjust the salt and place the lid  and pressure cook .Masoor dal gets done in 1 whistle but navin likes it all mashed up so i wait for 3 whistles.
When the pressure is gone. open the lid and pour into serving bowl.You can garnish with fresh coriander leaves and the tadka( if u are doing it at the end).Your simple,tasty dal is ready.Less time consuming , easy , nutritious and delicious.What more can you ask for??
Serve with rice or chapathis.

You can add dry mango powder(amchur) or  some lime juice for extra tanginess  or if you are using less tomatoes.
a quick and easy dal for rice or chapathis


  1. Masoor dal looks very yummy and very delicious, lovely clicks...

  2. very very delicious and yummy dal :) wonderful presentation !!

  3. Such a droolworthy and comforting dal..Inviting dal..

  4. dal is a staple at my home too and a comfort food too. thanks for the link back renu.

  5. Very comforting n healthy bowl of dal,looks tempting

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  7. Thats my fav Daal too Renu ! Every Thursday I eat only Masoor dal thinking about dieting but then always end up eating twice as much since I just love the taste :P

  8. Really nice recipe.
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