Spicy, nourishing, easy to prepare and a treat to the palate, this mixed dal recipe, inspired by 660 Curries – one of my favorite Indian cookbooks that I often rave about – goes so well with rice and flatbreads. My dinner guests raved about the combination of this dal served over jasmine rice, and when they requested a second helping some hours later, they also delighted in a homemade roti that is popular in Punjab. I will be sharing the roti recipe with my readers soon.
Any combination of dal can be used in this dish and if I had not been out of toor dal, I would have included that too. Toss in some finely diced carrots with the dal or any other vegetable if desired.
Mixed Lentil Indian Dal
1/2 cup of urad dal, without skins
1/4 cup of split mung dal
1/4 cup of green lentils
1/4 cup of chana dal or yellow split peas
1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
4 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
2 tablespoons of ghee, butter, or oil
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
small handful of dried curry leaves or a 2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon of asafetida
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley or cilantro for garnishing
Rinse the dal in a strainer, making sure to remove any debris. Transfer to a medium-large saucepan, along with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, add the salt, turmeric, chilies and ginger, reduce the heat to medium low and cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until the legumes are tender – roughly 30 minutes.
Puree a portion of the cooked dal in a blender or with an immersion blender. If using a blender, transfer the puree back to the pot.
In a small frying pan, heat the ghee, butter or oil over medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and stir and fry for a minute. Add the asafetida, curry leaves (or bay leaves) and cayenne. Stir and remove from the heat. Transfer to the cooked dal, stir and let sit covered, for five minutes.
Garnish with fresh herbs and serve hot.
Yields 4 servings, along with rice.
More Indian Lentil dishes from Lisa’s Vegetarian Kitchen you are sure to enjoy:
Spicy Lentil Rasam
Spicy Green Lentils and Yellow Split Peas
Brown Lentils and Moong Dal in a Cashew-Almond Sauce
Savoury Rice and Urad Dal Pancakes
On the top of the reading stack: Mysore Style Cooking by V. Sandhya
Audio Accompaniment: Trentemøller