Lentils are a used in almost all parts of India. Each province and city makes them differently. Being Punjabi, we love lentils with rice. It’s a Punjabi tradition! Cut up some red onions and serve with the rice and lentils and you’ve got an amazing meal to make any Punjabi smile and here I’m sharing my family recipe with you.
Here’s what you need:
1 cup green lentils
6 cups water
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp jeera (cumin seeds)
1 tbsp hing
2-3 tbsp ginger
1 green chili chopped
1 onion chopped
Here’s what you do:
- Boil water and lentils until lentils are completely soft and mushy. You may need to add more water as the lentils boil down. This can take 30-45 minutes on high heat. Do not remove lentils and water from heat, just lower the heat as much as possible.
- Once your lentils are boiled to softness, in a fry-pan you’re going to add oil and hing and cook until sizzling. Add in jeera and cook until brown.
- Add your onions and ginger and cook until onions are browned. Add green chilli and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Next add your dry spices, red pepper, turmeric, curry powder and salt and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
- Now, turn up the heat on the lentils and once they begin boiling, add the ginger/onion masala to the boiling lentils. Be careful because they will sizzle and splatter. Let the lentils and mixture cook for at least 10-15 minutes or until everything is nicely mixed in together.
- Serve with basmati rice and fresh onions.
This is possibly one of the easiest East Indian dishes to make. It’s also one of my favorites and the dish I first learnt from my mother.
It’s quick, hassle free and great for week night dinners!
Now of course, there are many ways of making this. I’ll explain more below. Here’s the recipe:
8oz Moong dal
12 oz water
1 teaspoon Chilli powder
1 teaspoon Haldi (turmeric powder)
2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
12 fl oz water
2 oz oil
- Clean and wash moong dal.
- Set stove to medium heat
- In a large steel cooking pot add daal, water, salt and haldi.
- Let boil for 30-45 minutes – depending on how much daal you are making
- In a frying pan, heat oil
- Add cumin, let the cumin seeds sizzle for a few minutes until they are slightly golden brownish
- Add salt and chilli powder
- Once all the ingredients are well blended and heated pour the mix on to the daal
- Transfer dal into serving dish
- Serve hot with rice or roti
Tips & Alternatives:
- There are many ways of making this daal. You can experiment with your taste. You may wish to fry up onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes in the tharka
- One tip my mother told me was if I am using 1 cup of daal, then I should add 4-8 cups water. This really depends on how liquidy you want the daal to be
- When you add the tharka to the daal, it will cause the daal to sizzle and will produce smoke, so make sure to protect your face and arms and to have your kitchen exhaust on or a nearby window open
- For the meat-lovers, you can add boneless chicken breasts cut up into small cubes. But if you do, add less water to the daal so that it makes a thicker sauce. (My recommendation for this will be to cook/boil the chicken separately to make sure it is cooked fully)
You would think that this is getting easier. Nu-uh!
Last night on my drive home from work, I was starving. I was so tempted to stop over at burger king or mc donald’s and just indulge. But I didn’t. I got home, cooked up rice and lentils and had a glass of water while they were cooking.
I also brought some with me for lunch today. However, eating half the container and I’m feeling satisfied; not stuffed! I left the other half for when I feel hungry again a bit later.
Today’s daily intake: (Oh keep in mind, these daily posts will be updated multiple times throughout the day)
Early morning: 1 glass 100% pure grapefruit juice
2 slices whole-grain bread with cream cheese
Breakfast: Cup of yogurt with all-bran buds
Large cup of coffee (2 milks, 2 sugars)
Mid-morning: Large cup of honey, lemon, ginseng green tea – Walked up 1 flight of stairs
Lunch: Lentils and rice – Walked up 1 flight of stairs
Afternoon: Large coffee (2 milks, 2 sugars)