Looking for a colorful legume to brighten up the night as the days get darker earlier and earlier? Opt for this simple Split Red Lentils (Masoor Dal) recipe for dinner. What’s also great is that red lentils don’t take much time to cook…we’re talking about 10-15 minutes, tops!
Packed with nutritional value, considered strengthening, detoxifying, as well as beneficial in helping with liver disorders, red lentils are very satisfying and easy to digest. Cooked red lentils are known to also improve blood circulation in the body, and are good for those suffering from anemia.
According to Ayurveda, red lentils are balancing to Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas. Red lentils are also prized with being one of the few legumes that are sattvic, (said to have a calming effect on the mind).
Split Red Lentils Dal Recipe:
- 1 cup Split Red Lentils
- 2 cups of Water (Feel free to add 1 to 2 cups more if you like your dal more soupy)
- 1/2 of one Onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cup of chopped Veggies of your choosing (I generally go with Carrots, Celery and Green Beans)
- 1 tbsp Ghee or Coconut Oil (if neither of these are available to you, feel free to use Sesame Oil)
- 1/4 tsp of Coriander Seeds
- 1/4 inch of fresh Ginger, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp of Cumin Seeds
- 1/4 tsp of Fennel Seeds
- 1/4 tsp of Mustard Seeds
- Black Peppercorns, freshly ground (to taste)
- Fresh juice from one Lemon
- 4 sprigs of Cilantro, finely chopped (or 2 bay leaves if you are not a fan of cilantro)
- Salt to taste (preferably Pink Himalayan)
- Rinse your split red lentils to ensure there is no debris. Let the cleaned lentils soak for a few minutes while you move onto step 2.
- In a large sauce pan add the ghee (or preferred cooking oil) along with the coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds and black peppercorns. Heat over medium heat until the spices brown slightly and start to snap, crackle, pop (generally about 1 to 3 minutes). You’ll know it’s done when you start to smell the amazing aroma of these combined spices.
- Next, add the onion and ginger. Let brown.
- Add 2 cups of water in the same pan and bring to a low boil. Add the drained red lentils and stir. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan, leaving a slight opening with the lid.
- As the beans begin cooking, if you want to add some veggies, begin to slice up the celery, carrots, green beans and add them to the pot, stir, and place back the lid keeping it slightly cracked. Stir occasionally.
- Next, add the two bay leaves if you’d rather not use cilantro.
- Keep the ingredients on a low simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the beans and veggies are tender and well-cooked.
- Remove from heat.
- Add cilantro for garnish (or remove the bay leaves before serving)
- Squeeze the juice of one fresh lemon juice, stir.
- Add salt (to taste).
Enjoy this hearty dal on its own or serve it with basmati rice or quinoa.