Red Lentil Dahl or Dal( pronounced Daal) is a popular dish from India that is now enjoyed nearly all over the world. Thanks to the internet and the ease of looking up recipes for dishes across all continents! Dal as commonly known in India, is actually split dried pulses. There are many varieties of dal grown in India. It is the largest producer of pulses in the world. Well, it goes without saying it is one of the largest consumers too.
With most of our 1.5 billion population being vegetarian or not daily meat eaters, we need our supply of daily protein. Dal or Pulses are one of the major sources that provide vegetarian protein. It is one of the staples of an Indian vegetarian diet.
If you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet it is highly recommended to include pulses in your diet for a balanced nutrition.
Pulses are rich in proteins with 17.1 – 43.2g/100g of edible content. You can read more about Protein, its sources and importance in our post – Protein- the building block of life.
There are many varieties of dal and the most common and popular one is Red Lentil or Masoor Dal. Beauty of Red lentil or masoor dal is so versatile that you can make it the way you like, and it will taste great.
If you travel across the length and breadth of India, you will find each state has its own red lentil preparation, giving it different flavours and look. You will find varieties within each cuisine and from one home to another. You can either cook them whole with its skin on or as split red lentils, up to you.
I love both kinds and I am sharing one of my favourite dal recipes for dinner during the week.
Simple Red Lentil Soup or Dahl
Cook time: 20 mins
Prep time: 5 mins
4 heaped tbsps split red lentils, rinsed and drained
100g baby plum tomatoes, halved
3 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
1 dry red chilli
1 tsp nigella seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp vegetable oil
salt to taste
Heat oil in a deep saucepan on medium low heat.
Temper the oil with the dry red chilli, crushed garlic and nigella seeds. Saute for few seconds till they release aroma and garlic gets a light brown hue.
Add turmeric and stir to mix
Now tip in the drained red lentil and saute for a couple of minutes, till the lentils are coated with the tempered oil.
Pour about 300ml water and add salt. Stir
Let the water come to a boil. Lower the flame and cook for about 10 mins.
Now add the halved plum tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
Check for salt and consistency, if you like it thinner add a little bit more water and let it come to a boil.
Remove from the heat, you may add ghee or butter at this stage or let it rest for 5 mins, covered.
Serve with steaming boiled rice, roti, naan or bread along with a salad.