food : masoor dal

I have been making this for years now. It is a pretty basic dal with a mild flavor. I use red lentils as the dal for this. I sometimes see larger and smaller red lentils at various stores, the smaller ones work better but both are fine.



  1. In a pot add lentils, ginger, salt, turmeric, cayenne, and hing
  2. Add water until water line is 1" above lentils and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that develops
  3. Once boil is achieved, reduce to simmer and stir every once in awhile
  4. In skillet/pan add oil and onion and saute over med heat
  5. Once onions are starting to brown, add garlic and cumin seeds; cook another 45 seconds, stirring
  6. Add everything from pan to pot of lentils, stir
  7. Let simmer until flavors are mixed well. Take your time and taste it every so often to get to the right flavor/consistency.
  8. [Optional] Blend a cup or two worth of the dal and mix it back into the pot to create a creamy consistency. This could also be done with an immersion blender. The key is to not blend all of it, just a little bit to adjust the consistency. Stir and let simmer a little while longer to let the newly blended bits settle in.
  9. If using garam masala, add it now and cook a minute or two more
  10. Serve hot and garnish with cilantro if desired