Easy to cook, masoor is your go-to

Having grown up in a Tamil household, dal meant either dal tower Where Moong Dal. Chana Dal was used for some tadkas (tempering) which required extra crispiness, as in lemon rice, and to prepare paruppu vadai (dal vada) Where adai (dosa of mixed lentils). amma would regularly make delicious whole My sister curry to accompany dinner rotis, but I have rarely seen Masoor Dal used at home.

Whole split and skinned My sisteralso called pink lentils, is a popular dal in Bengali cuisine.

Pink lentils cook to a powdery texture dal sweet-scented, losing their salmon-pink color and turning pale yellow. The culmination of Masoor Dal is that it is the fastest cooking dal. God forbid, you’re already stuck somewhere without a pressure cooker (it will give everything dal– who loves rice desi a panic attack), Masoor Dal will save you. it doesn’t require soaking and cooks in a pan in about 20 minutes, even faster if you soak it for half an hour.

This is my reference dal when I want to add extra protein, fiber and weight to vegetable soups. It rounds off the pronounced acidity of naati (desi) tomatoes beautifully in a tomato shorba, or soup, giving the soup a creamy texture. During my trip to Jordan in 2016, we signed up for a Jordanian cooking class at a restaurant called Petra’s Kitchen. One of these recipes is now a regular in my kitchen. Shourbat Adas, which translates to lentil soup in Arabic, is a hearty vegan soup made from Masoor Dal and vegetables. Served with crusty bread or simply a side salad, it is a healthy meal.

One of the best ways to do everyday sabzis such as cabbage, bell pepper, bottle gourd or bitter gourd more nutritious is to add a little soaked Masoor Dal, Moong Dal Where Chana Dal and cook with the vegetables. The dals should retain their texture in these sabzis. This is especially good for diabetics to increase the fiber and protein content of the meal, resulting in a more gradual rise in blood sugar after the meal. Add lightly cooked or just soaked dals As My sister and moon to salads makes them heartier. Lentil salads can also be prepared the day before and packed in a lunch box.

This dal is not only a good companion to vegetables in soups, sabzis and salads, but also with meat. Masoor Dal is the star ingredient of a Hyderabadi dalcha I read in Asma Khan’s book Asma’s Indian cuisine. It is a tangy dish of meat and lentils, in which the dal strategically stretches an inexpensive cut of meat to serve a large family for less.

You can of course use Masoor Dal by itself to make a variety of dal dishes, by simply varying the fat used for the tadka, spices and herbs. One of the variations I like is the Uttar Pradesh style Masoor Dala recipe that Camellia Panjabi shares in her 1995 book, India’s Great Curries. Here, Masoor Dal is cooked with pumpkin, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chilies and ground spices. Tamarind water and lime juice are added for acidity and a finish tadka minced garlic fried in butter.

Shorbat Adas
For 4 people

1 cup Masoor Dal
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 large onion
4 thin stalks of celery with leaves
1 medium carrot
1 vegetable stock cube
Half teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
One and a half teaspoons of salt
Lime juice


wash it Masoor Dal and soak for 30 minutes in a bowl of water. Slice the garlic and onions. Finely chop the celery stalk and leaves. Peel and slice the carrot. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add chopped garlic, onion, celery and carrot. Fry over medium heat for four to five minutes until the onion has softened a little. Add the soaked and drained dalstock cube and 750 ml of water.

Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the dal and vegetables are cooked through. In the final stages of cooking, add ground spices and salt. Mix well. Using an immersion blender, reduce the contents of the saucepan to a thick soup. Add a little boiling water to adjust the consistency if necessary.

Divide among four large bowls. Garnish with a squeeze of lime juice.

Note: Other vegetables like diced pumpkin or potatoes can also be added to the soup. Vegetable stock can be used instead of water, in which case the stock cube can be avoided.

Cabbage Masoor Sabzi
For 4 people

Half cup Masoor Dal
3 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 large green pepper
2 green peppers
2 tablespoons mustard oil (or any other oil)
Half a teaspoon of black mustard seeds
Half teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 sprig of curry leaves
2 teaspoons ground coriander
Half to 1 teaspoon of salt

Wash and soak the Masoor Dal in a bowl of water for 30 minutes. Deseed and finely chop the pepper. Split the green peppers. Heat the mustard oil in a large skillet. Sauté the mustard and cumin seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add the curry leaves and split green chilies. Fry for 30 seconds.

Drain the dip Masoor Dal. Add chopped vegetables and Masoor Dal. Sprinkle with ground coriander and mix everything together. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes until the dal is baked but retains its shape. Season with salt and mix well.

Serve hot with rotis.

Double Tested is a bi-monthly column on vegetarian cooking, highlighting a single ingredient prepared two ways. Nandita Iyer is the author of the recently published book This Handmade Life—7 Skills To Enhance And Transform Your Everyday Life. @saffrontrail

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