Red lentils, also known as Masoor Dal or Lal Masoor, are split and skinned Whole Brown Lentils. They are pink when raw and turn golden or yellow when cooked with haldi. This legume cooks faster than other dals and can also be prepared in a pot instead of in a pressure cooker. In this case it has to be soaked for an hour and then boiled with lots of water for easy cooking.
- When fried with onions, ginger-garlic, tomatoes and spices, Masoor dal can be served as a main dish with rice and roti.
- Delicious khichdi can also be prepared by adding masoor dal, rice and spices.
- It can also be served as a soup when some vegetables or meat/ chicken is added to it.
- It is used to make vegetable stew.
- Masoor Dal contain high levels of protein, and thus it’s a very good choice for vegetarians to meet their protein requirements.
- It is believed to be helpful in lowering the bad cholesterol and managing sugar levels.
- It is a good source of folate, potassium and iron.
Storage: Store the dal in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place.
Basic Recipe : Dal
Dals are simple to cook and healthy. This dal needs to be pressure cooked for approximately 10 minutes in water with salt and a pinch of turmeric powder. (If the dal is still hard, boil it further.)
There are two basic types of ´tadkas´ that can be added to a dal.
1. Heat ghee and add jeera (cumin seeds), a little garam masala and red chili powder. Add immediately to hot, cooked dal.
2. Or, heat ghee, add jeera (cumin seeds) and chopped onions and fry till golden brown. Add green chilies (optional), grated ginger and chopped tomatoes. Fry for 5 minutes and add spices – turmeric, garam masala, red chili powder (a little). Fry all this for 5 more minutes and then add it to the hot, cooked Dal and mix well.
The tadka can be varied by adding mustard seeds, curry leaves and heeng (asafetida) along with the other masalas. Adding a little sambhar masala also gives it a different flavor. The amount of masalas to be added varies from ¼ to ½ tsp depending on the quantity of dal.