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I just love a steaming hot bowl of spicy, aromatic Indian Dahl. I served this with Anu's Tangy Lemon Rice with Peanuts, and chapattis. A delicious, nourishing meal. If you prefer not to use ghee or butter, substitute vegetable oil. Add the amount of chile powder as per your own taste - less or more is up to you. If you prefer, you can use Toor dahl or even split and hulled Moong dahl, instead of Masoor dahl.
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh gingerroot, minced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons ghee (or unsalted butter)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure ground red chili powder (not the chili spice mix)
- 4 1⁄2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 5 cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces split red lentils (Masoor dahl)
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup water
- cilantro leaf, freshly chopped
- Place lentils in a colander and rinse under running cold tap water.
- Add lentils to a medium-sized, but deep, saucepan.
- For each cup of lentils, add 2 cups of water to the saucepan.
- Bring to the boil, turn heat down, and simmer 10 to 20 minutes.
- Do not allow lentils to become mushy- they should still be'al dente'.
- Drain when cooked.
- Melt ghee or butter over a medium flame.
- Add onions, garlic and ginger, and saute until onions are soft and light brown in colour.
- Add spices and salt, and cook a couple of minutes until lightly fried and bubbling.
- Add dahl, and stir well.
- Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water.
- Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, or until gravy thickens, stirring from time to time so that the dahl doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add more water if necessary, or if a thinner dahl is desired.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro to serve.
- Variation: Add two chopped tomatoes with the onions.