Making Orange Lentil – Masoor Dal

Masoor Dal
Masoor Dal

Dal . Written with a single “a” but its an “aaa” sound. Pronounced with a soft D, not Dh, but like “the”. A comfort food for most Indians. After a hard days work some Dal-Roti or Dal -Rice and most of us are happy.

My go to dal is Masoor. Orange lentil. Everytime I have people over I make this dal. I make it for me and hubby. Maybe its the only dal I am confident of making

how cool is this pic ?
how cool is this pic ?

First things first. Rinse the lentils till water runs fairly clean. Then boil it. Till it looks like this. Do NOT overboil otherwise these turn into Lentil GLUE ! But dont worry you have more than enough time between nicely done stage and overboiled glue stage.

I boiled it and then churned it. You can use a handheld blender
I boiled it and then churned it. You can use a handheld blender

Remember to check for the following

1. remove the white bubbly scum that rises to the top once water starts to boil

2. add water if needed

Once done I churned mine  with a wooden churner to blend the seeds nicely. Just twisting it between my palms.


Then I assembled Mustard seeds, curry leaves (which I am growing in pots), green chillies, chopped tomatoes and onions

IMGP2197 Purists like my Mother, will ONLY ever make Masoor dal with ONLY  dry red chilli and caramelised onion. Sometimes a single tomato, but I ? I do what I want 🙂

  1. Anyway heat oil, add the mustard seeds – HAVE A SPATTER SHEILD READY ! these pesky buggers burst and leap everywhere around your kitchen, on your face. Burst dont Burn them
  2. Add in your curry leaves
  3. Either chop your chillies or make a slit long the length and add that in.
  4. Add the onions, a wee bit of salt. And fry till golden.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes,
  6. turmeric, salt to taste.

Once all flavours are homogenised, add the boiled dal mixture with 1/3 quantities of water. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a nice rolling simmer.

Remember to stir your dal well. Nicely boiled lentils, become thick and can stick to the bottom.

You can garnish this with fresh corriander ( chinese parsley) leaves but its not necessary.

Let me know how you went, ok.