As with any good dal, the key is allowing the legumes to slowly tenderise but not overcook, and while this simple dish requires almost an hour to complete, the end result is more than worth the wait.
Ingredients (serves 4)
3 Tbsps Olive Oil
Medium Onion (finely chopped)
2 Whole Tomatoes (finely chopped)
210g Toor Dal
0.5 Tsp Ground Turmeric
1.5 Tsps Salt
0.5 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
0.5 Tsp Cumin Seeds
0.5 Tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
13 Dried Curry Leaves
1.2 Litres Water
How to Cook
1. Heat the oil in a 16cm non-stick saucepan, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chopped onion and curry leaves, and stir-fry everything until the onions are soft and lightly coloured.
2. Add the tomatoes, and continue gently stir-frying until the tomatoes are soft.
3. Add the water, turmeric, cayenne pepper, lentils, toatoes and salt to a 20cm non-stick saucepan, bring everything to the boil and then simmer partially covered for 50 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through and slightly mushy, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
4. Once the lentils are cooked, add the fried onion, tomatoes and spices, stir well, cover and leave the saucepan to stand for 2-3 minutes, before serving as required.
This dish is excellent with fresh chapatis, and a salad of your choice.