Monday, March 4, 2013

Everyday meal : Sabut Masoor & Chana dal /Whole Red Lentils soup

Dal is an important part of any Indian meal. We all love chicken and fish in our house but it's dal which comes under the category of everyday food. It's comfort food for us. Growing up soup was a fancy meal it was dal which was our soup/stew, without it dinner felt incomplete. Even now after so many years it's same. If there's no chicken or fish, there has to be dal, that's our protein part of the meal. No particular one but any dal, depending upon how much time you have to cook and what kinda mood you are in.
I have 21 different dals/lentils/dried beans in my pantry(yes, I counted them). So, there are many different combinations which are made out of these  and then there are some dals which are cooked standalone, just made like that, no mix and matching. Every household have their favourite and further every family member have preference of one dal over other.
Coming to today's recipe Sabut/whole masoor and chana dal, is one of the hit combination in my house. While growing up I don't remember my mom making this combination, though both the dals were popular but separately. I don't remember when I started cooking them as a mixed dal but we like the texture & taste both and also chana dal makes it more nutritious.
It's very simple, the only thing is whole/sabut dals usually take little extra time to cook as compared with dhuli(skin off) dals. I have used 2 part masoor & one part chana dal, feel free to change the proportion as per your taste. Same recipe can be used for making only masoor dal also. 
  • 1 cup Sabut Masoor (Whole Red Lentils)
  • 1/3 cup Chana Dal (Bengal Gram)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (around 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped/grated ginger
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped (or puree them in the blender)
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • salt
  • 1/ tablespoon Jeera (cumin)
  • 1 tsp. dhania powder (ground coriander)
  • 3/4 tsp. haldi (turmeric)
  • 3/4 tsp. Kashmiri Mirch powder/deggi mirch (or Paprika can be used ) *see notes
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • A big handful of fresh dhania/ cilantro ( finely chopped)
  • 3-4 tsp. cooking oil/ghee
  • Water
Method :
  1.  Pick out any stones from the dal, specially sabut masoor, because this dal do have small stones in it. Wash both the dals in running water together and soak them in enough water to cover them, for at least 3-4 hours.
  2. Once ready to cook, drain all the water in which dal was soaked and boil them with fresh water(3 times of the dal), turmeric & salt. Like most Indians I also use pressure cooker, I have never tried to boil them without pressure cooker.
  3. Cooking in pressure cooker : Put dal, water, turmeric & salt in the cooker close the lid. Put it on high flame. After first 3 whistles turn the flame to med. low & let it cook for 5-7 minutes more. DO NOT OPEN the pressure cooker till all the steam escapes by itself. Once all the steam escapes open the cooker  and check dal, if you press cooked dal between your fingers it should be easily squished. It might look separate (water & dal) but once U mix tarka, mix it & let it simmer together for few minutes & it'll be all good and delicious looking.
  4. While dal is boiling in the pressure cooker,start working on tarka/seasoning. Take a heavy bottom pan. Heat it on med. high, add oil.
  5. Once oil is hot, add cumin seeds, once they start to sizzle, add Garlic. Few seconds and garlic is cooked(do not let it get brown) add chopped onions & sprinkle a pinch of salt.
  6. Turn flame to med. low, slowly onions will turn translucent(around 6-8 minutes), keep stirring them as we are not using lot of oil then add ginger.
  7. After 30 seconds or so add coriander powder, Kashmiri mirch powder, mix & cook for few seconds. Add tomatoes and chopped green chillies, mix well.
  8. Keep the flame med. low & let tomatoes get cooked properly .
  9. Once the tomatoes are cooked add this tarka to cooked dal , mix it and let it simmer for 6-8 minutes, check the consistency of dal. If it's too thick add some water & let it simmer for 5-7 minutes on med. low. And if by any chance dal is too soupy let it boil for a while till it comes to the right consistency.
  10. Add garam masala & chopped fresh cilantro(hara dhania).
  11. It tastes good with both rice as well as any kinda flat bread,
1) Here's the pic of uncooked sabut masoor, they are also referred as brown flat lentils :
2) Kashmiri mirch/degi mirch powder is relatively mild but flavorful and gives very nice color to the final dish. If not available use paprika.
3) If U don't have time to soak the dal, you can boil them straight away but it'll take extra time.
4) If boiling without pressure cooker, try to soak dal a night before, it'll cut the cooking time. Also do check in between boiling to make sure there is enough water in the pot.
5) This dal tastes good when it's not too soupy or not too thick.
6) If you are new to whole lentils, so let me share this tip: make these little ahead of time at least 3-4 hours before meal time, they taste better once they are sitting after getting cooked. Just warm it before eating.
This delicious & hearty dal stew is on it's way to  My Legume Love Affair # 57 event hosted this month by PJ of Seduce Your Tastebuds. This event is brain child of  Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and now this event is administer by Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen.
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Priya Suresh said...

Nutritious and protein packed soup,love to have anytime.

Hamaree Rasoi said...

true Dal is our staple diet...Full of protein in it...

Unknown said...

Love it, simple and healthy. Please do send it to my "Healthy Me & Healthy Us" event. Please do read the event rules :)

Padmajha said...

Can never imagine a meal without dal. Thanks for sending it across to the event.