In a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer about 20 minutes, or till done. (In CrockPot or Slow Cooker, this takes about 3 hours on high)3 cups Split Masoor Dal (Also known as "Red Lentils" - which look Orange!)
|Split Masoor Dal or Red Lentils|
Make Flavour Packet (formally known as a "Tadke") seperately:
In a separate pan, SauteA tiny bit of oil (about a teaspoon - you may use more if you like)
1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds, till they start to pop (or turn grey)*
Then add and saute a few minutes, till fragrant
2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
2 tsp dal masala (packaged blend of spices from Indian Grocery)
**Add "heat" if desired - a broken dry red chili or two, or a little cayenne, according to your tastes.
1 T dry (or 2 T fresh) Chopped Cilantro1 T Lemon Juice
Salt to taste (about 1 1/2 teaspoons here - adjust flavours at serving time)
Add Flavor Packet to Lentils just before serving.
Serve with Bread or Rice and Salad.
* Mustard Seeds can be popped just like popcorn - heat the oil, toss them in, and put on a lid to listen to them pop (they DO splatter hot oil, just like popcorn does - so be sure to use a lid! If your oil isn't hot enough when you add them, they might turn grey as they cook instead of popping. That's okay (even if not perfect) and they will taste fine. If they burn, however, toss them out and try again. Believe me, you will KNOW if they burn - much like popcorn - I don't have to describe the smell ; )
Make Ahead Tip: This entire dish can be frozen when finished - it freezes quite well. Sometimes I prefer to freeze just the cooked lentils & water, and freeze several different flavour packets separately, giving me flexibility at serving time. If you have a small freezer, you can make your Flavour Packets and freeze them on a bulk cooking day, then just boil the lentils & water on serving day - that makes it super-easy and almost instant, without taking too much time or energy on cooking day.
Tip for Dining with Omnivores: A dish like Chicken Tandoori can go well on the side here, without too much additional work.