Masoor Dal

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Canon of Vegetables

A Canon of Vegetables

By Raymond Sokolov

Published 2007

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  • 2 cups split pink lentils, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
  • ¾ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 green chiles (serrano), trimmed, seeded, and chopped fine
  • ¼ cup any vegetable oil, except olive oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon asafetida
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)


  1. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a Dutch oven.
  2. Add the lentils, the fenugreek seeds, and the chopped green chiles. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
  3. Heat the oil or ghee in a skillet. Add the mustard seeds, the cumin seeds, and the asafetida. Cook until the seeds begin to pop. Then stir in the crushed garlic, the chopped tomato, the five ground spices (cayenne, turmeric, coriander, cumin, and garam masala), the salt to taste, and ¼ cup water. Stir-fry just long enough to mix all the ingredients and heat them. Scrape into the dal pot. Bring to a boil, stirring. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and then the coriander leaves.

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