Red lentils, as they are called here, or Masoor Dal, have made a reappearance in this kitchen after we received a large bag of them as a gift. How wonderful to have friends and relatives that gift odd bits and pieces to our pantry – I love them all.
Truly, I had forgotten how wonderful red lentils are, even though we have some stunning dishes that feature them. Red Lentil Soup with Garlic, for example, and also the Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Thick Thick Yoghurt.
Today we are making a Dal from the Assam region in North East India that mixes both split red lentils and mung dal. It is tasty, substantial, healthy and nourishing. The recipe uses mustard oil for a wonderful tang, but ghee can be substituted if preferred.
Red Lentils and Mung Dal | Masoor Dal and Mung Dal from Assam
0.5 cup split red lentils (masoor dal)
0.5 cup mung dal
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
sea salt to taste
0.5 tspn brown mustard seed
0.5 tspn cumin seeds
2 Indian dried red chillies
2 Teja Pata (Indian Bay Leaves) (optional)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 Tblspn Indian Mustard Oil (or use ghee)
Rinse the lentils well, and bring to the boil in a saucepan with 4 cups water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, then add the turmeric powder and stir well. Cover again and continue cooking for another 15 – 20 minutes. Add a little more water if necessary.
To make the tadka, heat the oil or ghee over a medium heat until hot, and add the mustard seed. Let it pop, then add the cumin seed, then the dried chillies and teja pata (if using). Then add the onion and and saute with the spices until tender and golden brown.
Add the spice and onion mixture to the dal and mix well. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes for flavours to meld. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve with rice or flat breads.