Sabut Masoor Dal

Sabut Masoor Dal

Traditional dal takes about an hour to cook. This recipe cuts that time in half by using high heat throughout the cooking process, removing extra water once the dal is tender and simultaneously cooking the masala. This kind of efficiency does require the use of two utensils, and it means watching a couple of burners at a time. It’s worth the effort because in the end, there’s the warmth of a big bowl of dal in around 30 minutes, a miracle when such comfort is most needed.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a large (about 6-quart) pot, add 7 cups of water, the whole masoor dal and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on as high heat as possible until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Step 2

    In the meantime, prepare the masala: In a medium-sized (8-inch) frying pan, heat ghee over medium heat for 30 to 45 seconds or until melted. Add onion, ginger and garlic, and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add cumin, chile powder, turmeric and coriander. Mix well. Stir in tomatoes, add salt and Thai green chiles. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down and the oil separates (it will form an outline around the jammy tomato), about 10 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    Remove 1 cup water from the pot of dal with a ladle (remove more if you want the dal to be thicker, or less or none of you prefer it thinner). Stir the masala from the frying pan into the pot of dal. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or for 10 minutes for more tender dal. Turn off the stove, and stir in lemon juice. Sprinkle with garam masala and cilantro. Serve with rice, roti or by itself.