Aleika’s Recipe for Masoor Daal [en]

Here is the delicious recipe Aleika showed me last time I was in Birmingham to visit her. It is an indian lentil recipe.

You’ll need:

  • masoor daal (the red lentils you find at any indian supermarket near you)
  • nigellas, also called kalonji (kind of small black onion seeds)
  • onions
  • tomato
  • butter (yum!) or oil
  • a green chili if you want
  • fresh coriander leaves

First, cook the daal. You can wash and/or soak it first if you like. Basically, you cook it like rice: about a cup of daal, roughly twice that amount of water, stick in a saucepan and boil until it turns pasty (take care, it foams a lot if you didn’t wash it really well). Let’s say it takes 20 minutes or so.

Chop the onions very finely while the daal is cooking (“more onions than you would think expect”, says Aleika) — I put a couple of onions in for a teacup of daal.

When the daal is nearly done (or plain done), heat the butter or oil, drop in a teaspoon of kalonji (or half, depending on your taste — they aren’t strong) and the green chili (or not). Add the onions and fry them gently until they melt. Then add the tomato and make it melt too.

Once the tomato and onion look as pasty as the daal (well, nearly!), simply dump the daal on top of them. Re-heat if necessary, stir well, add chopped coriander leaves (or not, but it’s nicer with them), and it’s ready!

Daal is usually eaten with rice. Pour the daal on top of the rice and mix, or eat separately if you prefer.

Bon appétit!

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