Daal Fry (Indian Lentils)
The ubiquitous Daal, Dahl or Dal is made daily in millions of kitchens across the world with different lentils and varied spices to deliver a familiar flavour that spells comfort!
Simple Daal around our place can be made with yellow split Mung beans or, the gorgeous split Red lentils (called Masoor Dal in Hindi). Split chickpeas and pigeon peas are, also used commonly. The most common spices used for tempering are Cumin seeds, Carom seeds, Fennel seeds, Mustard seeds, Coriander seeds, Fenugreek seeds, black Peppercorn, dried red chillies, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, and many more depending on the region. I also add a mix of fresh grated ginger, fresh turmeric, crushed garlic, chopped tomatoes, curry leaf sprigs and sliced onions, depending on what I have at hand.
Garnishing can be finely chopped fresh Coriander, Parsley, Shallots, dried Mint leaves, Fenugreek leaves or even, Basil flowers.
- Split Yellow Mung beans or, Red Lentils, dried – 1/2 cup
- Water – 3 cups
- Salt, to taste
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Cinnamon, bark – 1″
- Black Peppercorn seeds – 6 to 8
- Dried Red Chillies – 1 to 2
- Onion, chopped- 1 medium
- Tomato, chopped – 1/2 cup
- Ginger, chopped – 1″ piece
- Garlic cloves, sliced – 2
- Oil – 1 tablespoon
- Fresh green Coriander leaves & stalk, minced finely – 2
- Soak the beans in room temperature water for at least an hour. Rinse well before cooking.
- In a thick bottomed pan add the beans, water and salt and bring to a boil.
- Simmer on low heat covered.
- In another smaller pan, add the oil and the dry spices. When aromatic, tip in the fresh produce and mix well.
- Sauté the onions until slightly browned.
- Stir in the ginger and garlic.
- Add in the tomatoes until wilted.
- Now, add the contents of the smaller pan to the larger pan with lentils simmering and take off the heat.
Garnish with chopped Coriander or Shallots, as desired.
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