Make Ahead

Red lentil stew (masoor dal)

February 28, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Serves 10
Author Notes

Masoor dal (also called a red lentil) is the fastest cooking lentil, no soaking required. The backbones of this dal are ridiculously cheap but will comfort your guests like only a healthy stew can.

Note: Do not skip the tempering step! This technique is called a "tadka," and is commonly used in Indian cooking ( The whole spices are heated up in fat (oil or ghee) and poured over the lentils before serving, infusing the whole dish with flavor. It may sound totally decadent to pour hot butter onto a dish however there's not much fat in the initial lentil mixture, so don't skimp!

Serve over rice or in an dosa. —Colleen Rose

What You'll Need
  • Lentils
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1, 28 ounces can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • salt, to taste
  • water, as needed
  • Tempering mix
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon black onion seed
  • 1 tablespoon corriander seed
  • whole, sliced chili peppers, to taste
  1. Lentils
  2. Saute onions over medium heat in a pot large enough to accommodate the lentils/tomatoes. When onions have browned, add the ginger and spices, heating until fragrant.
  3. Add the lentils and incorporate into onion mixture. Stir in tomatoes.
  4. Boil until lentils are soft, about 20 minutes, adding more water when needed.
  5. When lentils are soft, add tempering mixture and serve.
  1. Tempering mix
  2. Microwave all ingredients together until the seeds begin to pop, about one and a half minutes. Pour over lentil mixture and serve.
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