Spiced Yellow Lentils
1 cup toor dhal
4-5 cups cold water
½ tsp. Turmeric
2 tsp. Salt (or salt to taste)
Juice from ½ lime
½ table spoon cumin seeds
½ table spoon mustard seeds
½ table spoon vegetable oil
1 dried red chili pepper- or 1-11/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
½ onion diced
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Romano tomato diced
½ bunch cilantro
1. Wash dhal in cold water. Then, in a large pot-preferably with a lid- add dhal, water, and turmeric. Allow to ingredients to boil on medium-high heat. Open lid and watch occasionally to ensure that enough water is in pot to allow for boiling. In about 45 min., dhal should be cooked—it should become the consistency of cream of wheat.
2. Add salt
3. In a separate covered pan, heat a portion of the oil on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Coat the seeds in the oil. Cover the pan until you hear the popping of the mustard seeds (about 1 1/2 min). Then, turn the heat down to med.-low, and add dried red chili pepper. When chili pepper begins to brown, add entire contents to lentils.
4. With remainder of oil, sauté garlic, ginger and onions. When onions begin to caramelize, add contents to lentils.
5. Finally, add tomatoes, and lime juice to lentils—adjust salt if necessary.
6. Garnish with cilantro
* For more heat to the dish, try adding a little bit of red chili powder to the dish.
While heating the seeds be careful to cover the pan b/c the mustard seeds will splatter.
I find the easiest place to find toor dhal is at an ethnic food store—all Indian stores should carry it. When buying it, choose lentils that are split and preferably not coated in oil. They should look yellow and flat and lentil sized.
The amount of water needed to cook the dhal varies. I made the dish yesterday and ended up initially adding one cup dhal to 3 cups water, then after the water boiled down, I ended up having to add a couple of more cups. Once you get the proportion down though, you can freeze the lentils, making the dish fairly quick to make.
This is the first time I'm writing down the recipe so if you've got any questions or need any clarrifications please let me know. But this is one of my favorite dishes...you can have it with rice, some tortillas, or as a soup...mm