Sunday, July 31, 2011

Red Lentils Masala

I first tasted Masoor Dal (Red Lentils) when my coworker's sister-in-law, who is from Tanzania, prepared it, for our potluck lunch, roughly 1.5 years ago. I got all excited, thought I would make myself the same and I bought a bag of Masoor dal. Well, the Masoor dal sat in the cupboard for 1.5 years, till this afternoon, when I happened upon a great recipe for Masoor dal, here. This is the first time I ever cooked with Masoor dal.

This recipe is not my original recipe, but I have adapted the recipe from the link above.

Masoor dal is yet another variety of lentils. They are possibly more commonly used in North India than in South India. It is also noted that India is not the only country where they are used in cooking.

This recipe involves making the spice mix first and then the actual dal is prepared, using the spice mix.

Ingredients for Spice Mix (Goda Masala):
Coriander seeds - 1 cupBlack peppercorns - 3 Tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 cup
Cloves - 2 Tsp
Cinnamon - 2 sticks
White Sesame Seeds - 1/3 cup
Star Anise - 6 pods
Black cardamon - 6 pods
Bay leaves - 2
Sesame seed oil - 1 Tbsp
Part I - Preparation of Goda Masala: In a frying pan, heat up the sesame seed oil. Bring oil to medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the ingredients for the masala. Stir frequently, so they don't burn.
Remove from heat, let the ingredients cool down.
After ingredients are cooled, grind into a mix in a blender.
Set 2 Tsp aside for the Dal prep.

Ingredients for Dal:
Red lentils - 1.5 cups
Red chili powder - 3 Tsp
Onions - 2 large - diced
Garlic - 3 cloves - minced
Tomatoes - 3 large - diced
Tomato paste - 2 Tsp
Sesame seed oil - 2 Tbsp
Goda masala - 2 Tbsp
Filtered water - 1 cup
Red Lentils
3 Good Lookin' Roma Tomatoes - last seen with some freshly made Goda Masala :)

Part II - Preparation of Masoor dal:

  1. Cook the Masoor dal in a pressure cooker or a sauce pan. Cook until the lentils are soft.
  2. Heat-up the sesame seed oil in a large pan. Add the onions, garlic. Cook until the onions start to turn brown.
  3. Add the cooked lentils, red chili power, water and the Goda masala and stir frequently.
  4. Turn off the heat, add the tomatoes and stir until the tomatoes are mixed in.
The finished product!
Serve piping hot with a slice of lime and a thinly sliced red/white onion. Goes well with rice and flat breads!
The finished product was so good, even Chako turned vegetarian :)

Bon appetit' :)

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