yellow and red lentil dal
½ cup yellow split lentils
½ cup red split lentils
1 small tomato (e.g. Roma),
diced 4 cups water + more as needed
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp red chilli (up to 1 tsp if you like it spicy)
1 garlic clove 1 tsp kosher salt + more to taste
1-2 tbsp chopped coriander
4 tbsp neutral oil
2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 tsp cumin seed
4-6 dried whole red chilli
6 curry leaves (optional)
Step 1: Soak dhal in 3 cups of water for an hour or overnight. Rinse before using.
Step 2: In a large pot, add the soaked lentils and 4 cups water and bring to a gentle boil. Skim the white foam that comes to the surface till the water is mostly clear. Add the turmeric, paprika, red chili powder, peeled garlic clove, and salt, and lower the heat to medium-low. Slightly cover the pot, allowing the lentils to simmer, giving it a stir now and then. Once the garlic clove has softened, smash it with the back of your spoon. The lentils will take anywhere from 30 to 45 mins, depending on how long they were soaked. Check by tasting and ensuring the lentils are soft and collapse in your month.
Step 3: Turn off the heat and whisk or use an immersion blender to combine everything. Add in a bit of water if you’d like your dal looser or turn up the heat to make it thicker. Remember, dal does thicken as it cools.
Step 4: To make the tarka, heat the oil on medium heat in a small pan. Lean back, as the oil will splatter a little as you add the ingredients! Add the dry whole chillis and fry for 30 seconds giving the pan a little shimmy. Add the sliced garlic, cumin seeds and curry leaves last (if using) and fry for 30-60 seconds. When the garlic turns golden, tip carefully and immediately into the pot of lentils, covering with a lid to infuse the flavour. After a couple mins, remove the lid and give it the gentlest stir. Top with coriander and serve with rice or roti.
I hope you love it as much as we do!