Yellow Lentils/Ghar ki Dal

Yellow lentils are Indian comfort food. Called ‘dal’ in Hindi, this curry or soupy dish is easy to prepare, rich in protein and full of flavour. This is the go-to dish when people feel lazy in India or want to whip up a quick meal. Goes well with both rice and naan. I even enjoy it with quinoa.

Preparation Time: 3 mins
Soaking Time: 1-2 hours
Cooking Time: 12 mins
Serves: 2
  • 2 tbsp olive oil/ghee
  • ¼ cup split pigeon peas/toor dal
  • ¼ cup split mung beans/mung dal
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 green chilli, halved
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped garlic (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder or more if you like it hotter
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander for garnishing

  1. Mix the two lentils and soak them in water for 1-2 hours.
  2. Wash the soaked lentils and put them into a pressure cooker.
  3. Add the pureed tomatoes to the lentils, 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  4. Close the pressure cooker and bring to full pressure on high heat.
  5. Reduce heat and cook for 12 minutes.
  6. Remove cooker from heat and allow to cool naturally.
  7. Place a pan on the hob for the tempering. Pour in the olive oil or try ghee/butter for added flavour.
  8. Add the asafoetida and cumin seeds and let them splutter for a minute.
  9. Now add the garlic, ginger and green chilli and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  10. Pour the boiled lentil soup into this. Mix well.
  11. Allow to simmer on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Check for salt.
  12. Serve hot garnished with coriander for a healthy happy lunch or dinner.

Jovi’s Notes
Tempering lentils is a joy and you can really play with different flavours here. Feel free to try chopped onions, curry leaves, mustard seeds in the tempering and see if you like that! The version I have provided above is one of the simplest ones.
Also, if you don’t have both the lentils, feel free to just use ½ a cup of the type you have.
If you like the consistency of your lentil curry thinner, you can add more water to it while simmering. Boil for a few extra minutes at the end to ensure that the raw taste of water goes away.


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