This easy spiced masoor lentils recipe came about after so much trials. Meaning lots and lots of failed attempts. The only way I initially knew how make lentils was in a pressure cooker (and then the Instant Pot once that amazing appliance came onto the scene). So I kept trying to figure out the right ratio of water and lentils, the right time and the cooking setting. But everything I tried resulted in the same, soupy lentils that ended up mushy the second I stirred.
Meanwhile my husband kept asking for lentils that were cooked but still held their shape lol. I mean dal (used in the sense of pureed lentils) is amazing and can't be beat. But it is so disappointing to keep getting dal when you're just looking to cook lentils.
So finally I tried making lentils in a regular pot. I literally just got out a saucepan, water and the lentils. I boiled water and lentils and watched over them until they were the right consistency. Finally!! I got the right texture!
Cooking tip: The easiest and quickest way to keep the structure and form of lentils is to cook them in the same manner as pasta.
So once I got the texture, I just had to get the seasoning right. For this easy spiced masoor lentils recipe, I kept the spices pretty straight forward. The seasoning is simple and yet bold and spicy too! Just perfect!
For more easy lentil recipes check out:
Easy Spiced Masoor Dal
- 1 cup masoor dal
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups water
Seasoning Oil (Vaghar)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 dried red chili pepper
- ¼ teaspoon asafoetida
- 10-12 curry leaves
- juice of 1 lime
- Soak the masoor dal in a bowl with water for 1 hour. Drain water from lentils.
- In a saucepan, combine soaked and drained lentils, water, bay leaf, ground turmeric and salt. Bring to boiling then reduce heat to medium high. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender and the water has evaporated.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the olive oil to a small saucepan, heat to medium high. Once oil has heated, add dried red chili pepper and cumin seeds to oil. As cumin seeds sizzle, as the asafoetida. Then add the curry leaves to the hot oil (stand back as the oil splatters). Cook the curry leaves for 1 minute, remove from heat and add the seasoned oil the cooling lentils.
- Serve warm with the juice of a lime. Best with a naan or roti and fried chili peppers.
Adapted from Priya's dal recipe.