Sunday, October 4, 2015

The gentle lentil: Khatti Masoor Dal

I acquired this recipe from a very traditional Ghaziabad Agarwal family, where this type of dal is a regular item in their daily cuisine. While I was living in Delhi, our neighbor was a wonderful woman who took pity on us students living the dorm and offered us home cooked meals once in a while. One of the dishes in her repertoire was this very simple, Khatti Masoor Dal; I.e Whole Masoor dal ( pink color) stewed with tamarind and ginger. Just as simple as that and on a cold winter day it was a soul satisfying dish eaten either with rocks or rice....just divine!

You can substitute any whole lentil for this dish, it will taste just as good.

Khatti Masoor Dal

1 cup whole red lentil/ sabut masoor dal, soaked and cooked until fork tender
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 finely chopped green chili
1 tbsp oil/ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
Coriander leaves to garnish
Salt to taste

Soak the lentils for about half an hour (optional) and cook until the lentils are soft when pressed between your fingers ( approx 10 mins cooking time ). Don't drain the lentils, keep the water aside for thinning down the lentils while simmering.
Heat oil/ ghee in a pan, add the asafoetida, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic and let it sputter, add the tamarind paste and cooked lentil along with the boiling liquor. Add salt to taste and allow it to simmer on a low flame for 10-15 mins. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with roti or rice.

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