I am an ardent Moong Dal fan. It's loaded with good protein and can become a side, soup, or even my quick salad dressing. Usually, I keep the spices simple but since I found National Dal Makhni spice mix (a Pakistani spice mix brand) from the local Indian/Pakistani store, I do my Dal this way.
- 1 1/2 cup moong dal (lentil) + 3/4 cup masoor dal, soaked for 10 hours, pre-boiled to tender
- National Dal Makhni spice mix, 2 TBSP OR (spices: 1/4 TSP red chili, 1 TSP cumin seed, 1 TSP turmeric, 1 TSP coriander, 1 TSP ginger powder, 1 TSP black pepper, 1 TSP garlic powder, 1/4 TSP cardamom powder, 1/4 TSP cinnamon powder, 1/4 TSP and clove powder).
- Canola oil, 1/4 cup (for cooking)
- Curry leaves, 4-5
- Ginger and Garlic paste, 1 TBSP (use 1/2 TBSP each if available separately)
- Red Chili Pepper, 2 pods
- Cinnamon stick, 1 inch
- Cloves, 4-5
- Black pepper pods, 4-5
- Caraway/Nigella seeds, 1 TBSP
- Cumin seeds, 1 TBSP
- Green chilies, chopped, as per spice preference *NOTE: National Spice Mix is pretty spicy
- Turmeric powder, 1 TSP
- Garam masala (all spice) powder
- Salt, to taste
- Butter/Non-fat vegetable spread, 1/2 cup
- Dal cooks like a big soup volume so pull out a large cooking pot.
- Add oil, curry leaves, ginger and garlic paste, red chili pepper pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, black pepper pods, caraway seeds, and cumin seeds and set on medium heat to fry.
- When garlic and ginger paste has slightly browned, add strained lentils, fried and crushed onions, National Dal Makhni spice mix OR your own spices, turmeric powder, garam masala (all spice) powder, butter or spread, a pinch of salt and fry for a good minute on medium-high heat.
- Pour water generously until lentils are completely soaked. Add more water until the water level stands 4 inches above the contents of the pot.
- Set to boil on high heat and once you see the boil set on low-medium heat and simmer cook with the pot's lid on.
- Cook until a soup-like consistency is achieved, not too thick and not watery. The lentils will still be there, partially solid but really soft like rice in the soupy liquid.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro.
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