Red Lentil Soup ( Masoor Dal Tadka) | Lunch | Dinner

Masoor Dal Tadka is one of the better-known dals as it is generally available in Indian restaurants. Tadka, tarka, or chaunk are all words for the tempering, which is spices and herbs fried in oil and then mixed into the cooked lentils. A good tadka is sometimes the only thing needed to make a comforting dal. Use more oil or vegan butter for a richer, restaurant-style flavour


1 cup red lentils (masoor), washed and drained 2 1/2 cups water 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons safflower or other neutral oil, divided 1/2 cup finely chopped red or white onion 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 (1-inch) knob of ginger, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Garam Masala 1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves

THE TEMPERING: 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds Generous pinch of asafetida (omit to make glutenfree) 2 dried red chiles, broken into half (cayenne or California red chiles) 8 curry leaves 1 bay leaf 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)


1. Combine the lentils in a saucepan with 2 1/2 cups water and the salt, over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until lentils are tender, 12 to 15 minutes total. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer. 2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Mix and cook until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. 3. Add the turmeric, coriander, garam masala, and fenugreek leaves. Mix and

cook for 30 seconds. Stir the mixture into the saucepan with simmering lentils. 4. The tempering: Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin and mustard seeds. Let them sizzle until they begin to pop and become fragrant about 1 minute. Add the asafetida, red chiles, curry leaves, and bay leaf, and cook for 1 minute. Add this tempering mixture to the simmering lentils. Mix well and remove from heat. Taste, and adjust for salt and spices, if needed. Garnish with cilantro and lemon juice, if using. Serve hot. Variations: • Add 1 cup chopped tomato at Step 1 along with lentils and water. • Add 1/2 cup coconut milk and 2 cups water at Step 1 for a curried creamy dal.

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