Red Lentil Dal

Source: Simply Recipes

Yield: 4 servings


  • Red or orange lentils: 1 Cups
  • Water: 3 Cups
  • Plum tomatoes: 3 Each
  • Vegetable or canola oil: 2 Teaspoons
  • White or yellow onion, finely chopped: 1/2 Cups
  • Medium cloves garlic, finely chopped and made into a paste: 2 Each
  • Bengali five spice mix, panch phoron: 2 Teaspoons
  • Bay leaf: 1 Each
  • Turmeric: 1 Teaspoons
  • Kosher salt: 1 Teaspoons
  • Fresh lime juice: 2 Tablespoons
  • Cilantro, de-stemmed and chopped: 8 Each
  • =Instructions=

Place 1 cup of red lentils in a metal sieve. Rinse well with cold water. Pour cleaned lentils into a medium sauce pan. Add 3 cups of water. Bring lentils and water to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
While the lentils are cooking in step 1, bring a separate small pot of water to a boil. Score the peel of the tomatoes with a sharp knife in the shape of an “X”. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water and blanch for one minute. Remove the tomatoes to a bowl to cool. Once cool, peel the tomatoes and cut out and discard the tough stem end. Chop the tomatoes, or mash them, and set aside.
After the lentils in step 1 have cooked at least 5 minutes, start preparing the onions and spices. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions. Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Create a garlic paste by finely chopping the garlic, then sprinkle with a little kosher salt and crush with the side of a large chopping knife over the mixture until garlic breaks down and becomes paste-like. Add garlic paste and cook for 1 minute more, stirring continuously, making sure that the garlic does not burn. Add the Bengali five spice. Cook and stir for another 2-3 minutes. Add bay leaf and turmeric. Stir.
To the onions and spices, add the cooked lentils along with the lentil cooking water. Add salt. Cook for 10 minutes. Add lime juice and tomatoes. Cook for 3-5 more minutes. Adjust salt if necessary. Stir in chopped cilantro and remove from heat. Garnish with more chopped cilantro.