Dal and rice / dal and roti is a staple in every Indian household. You wont find any Indian family that would go long without lentil soup on a dinner table. And we are proud that Indians include this high-protein low calorie dish in their everyday part and parcel of life.
Cheap, easy and vegetarian? Yes all those things are lentils. They are high in protein, low in fat and a good source of fiber, which can reduce risks of heart diseases. Not only in India, lentils are a staple in many parts of the world, including the middle-east. The only difference is in the method of cooking. But nevertheless, no matter which recipe you follow, lentils always turn out lip-smackingly good!!
Dal/lentil soup has always been my “the ultimate” comfort food of all times. Even when we check into an Indian restaurant, I never fail to order a dal and rice for my main course.
The following dal recipe is full of goodness, rich and hearty. Throw in bare minimum ingredients and you come up with a simple easy yet delicious meal for your family.
I have mixed five kinds of lentils, which makes this dish filling and flavorful. However you can use the same recipe and make it with just one or even two kinds of dal.
Red lentil / masoor dal – 1/4 cup
Split yellow lentil / yellow moong dal – 1/4 cup
Split white urad dal – 1/4 cup
Split Bengal Gram / Chana dal – 1/4 cup
Split pigeon peas / toor dal – 1/4 cup
Dried red chillies – 2-3
Slit green chillies – 2-3
Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
Crushed garlic – 2-3 cloves
Crushed ginger – 1/2 tsp
Tomatoes – 2 medium sized choppped
Hing / Asafoetida – 1tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli flakes – 1 tbsp
Goda masala / kala masala – 1 tbsp (can substitute with garam masala)
Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – as per taste
Curry leaves – 7-8
Coriander leaves – chopped
Heat oil/ghee in a pressure cooker.
Add dry red chillies, hing and cumin seeds. As the cumin seeds splutter, add in the crushed ginger garlic. Saute for a few seconds. Add in the chopped tomatoes and saute for a few seconds.
Add in the lentils. Add 2 cups of water. Put turmeric powder, black pepper powder, red chilli flakes, curry leaves, green chillies and chopped coriander leaves. Also add goda masala. Give everything a good mix. Do not add salt now as addition of salt can slower down the cooking process of lentils.
Close the pressure cooker. Keep it on high for 1 whistle and then on simmer for 2-3 whistles. (Will vary depending on the kind of pressure cooker being used)
When the pressure goes down, add salt and mix well. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with white rice or rotis.