This a really simple dish that is so filling and nutritious. I grew up eating daal with rice at least once a week and in the fall and winter months this is so hearty and satisfying! You can pair it with some basmati rice and sautéed potatoes, or just have it on its own as a soup!
For boiling the lentils:
1 Cup of lentils combined
2 ½ cups of water
1 TSP turmeric
Salt to taste
For creating the tadka (spicy seasoning):
1 TBS oil
1 TSP mustard seeds
1 dried red chili
1 bay leaf
1 medium chopped onion (about a cup)
1 TSP turmeric
1 TBSP red chili powder
1 TBSP coriander powder
1 TSP garam masala
1 TSP ginger powder
2 cloves fresh garlic grated or finely chopped
Handful of cilantro chopped
Combine all lentils to create 1 cup of lentils. I used a mix of masoor daal (the small, oval orange ones, often labelled as red lentil), toor daal (which is a larger yellow one, often called pigeon pea), and a little channa daal (split chickpea).
Rinse these first and then put into a pot to boil with the 2 ½ cup water. Add in 1 TSP of turmeric and salt to taste. I let mine boil for about 40 mins, you can check when they’re soft. Once done, switch off the heat.
To season take a small frying pan and add in the oil to heat. If your pan is large you can just pool the oil in a corner so it’s in a puddle. Once it’s hot, add in the mustard seeds and cumin and let it roast. Then add in the dry red chili, turmeric, coriander, garam masala and ginger powder.
After the spices bloom in the oil, add in the chopped onion and the dried red chili, toss and fry them all together for a few minutes, until onions are tender and start to crisp.
Add the spices into the lentil pot and mix together well. Garnish with some fresh chopped cilantro. And it’s ready to serve!