One of my goals for this year, in terms of blogging, was to share more traditional Pakistani fare and to share more of what we eat on a regular basis. I have always had a hard time photographing Desi (hailing from the South Asian Subcontinent) food, and I guess I’ve allowed it to be the reason why I didn’t share much of it. It’s funny because we eat more Desi food than any other cuisine at home, but this little virtual space doesn’t reflect that. I hope to change that in the coming months.
As for the recipe I am sharing today, Daal translates to lentils, and there are literally hundreds of variations of soupy curries that can be made with these humble pulses. This Daal is one that I make on a weekly basis. It screams comfort and is homely. It’s simple, filling, nutritious, and delicious. It’s great piled on rice, with some yogurt and sliced onions on the side. Consider it Desi comfort food 🙂
Sabut Masoor Daal
Yield: 4 Servings
Note: measurements are in actual measuring spoons/cups and not eating utensils.
- 4 – 6 cups water
- 1 cup brown lentils/ sabut masoor daal
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- Salt, to taste
- ¼ cup oil
- ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- Handful mint leave, chopped, optional
In a large vessel, combine water, lentils, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, and red chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until lentils are softened and water has significantly evaporated, about 45 to 60 minutes. Be sure to check on daal often, stirring and adding extra water as needed.
Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to pulse daal to desired consistency. Add salt and keep covered.
Warm oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and cook, while stirring often, until they start to show signs of browning. Add cumin seeds and cook until the onions are golden brown. Pour oil and onion mixture (tempering) over the daal, and let it sit undisturbed, and covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. If using mint, stir it in to the daal, and let it sit covered, and undisturbed, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.