Masoor Dal is an essential source of protein for vegetarians and also contains dietary fiber, vitamin B1, iron and some minerals. It has a short cooking time. Lentils rate high in the health food category and are eaten with roti or rice.
Basic Recipe: Dal
Dals are simple to cook and healthy. Cooking times of different dals vary. This dal needs to be pressure cooked for approximately 10-15 minutes in water with salt and a pinch of turmeric powder. (If the dal is still hard, boil it further.)
There are two basic types of ´tadkas´ that can be added to a dal.
1. Heat ghee and add jeera (cumin seeds), a little garam masala and red chilli powder. Add immediately to hot, cooked dal.
2. Or, heat ghee, add jeera (cumin seeds) and chopped onions and fry till golden brown. Add green chillies (optional), grated ginger and chopped tomatoes. Fry for 5 minutes and add spices turmeric, garam masala, red chilli powder (a little). Fry all this for 5 more minutes and then add it to the hot, cooked dal and mix well.
The tadka can be varied by adding mustard seeds, curry leaves and heeng (asafetida) along with the other masalas. Adding a little sambhar masala also gives it a different flavor. The amount of masalas to be added varies from ¼ to ½ tsp depending on the quantity of dal.