Split red lentils or ‘masoor dali’, as we call it in Assamese…
…occupies a special place in our hearts…it’s constant presence on my kitchen shelf and the eagerness with which it is welcomed at our dining table, is ample proof of this. We adore the simple flavours of this dal, which, I feel, tastes best if kept simple. They have a very short cooking time and has that unmistakable earthy aroma. It is also high in proteins, and I remember ma urging us to have bowlfuls of this dal due to this reason.
Now, most of my Indian readers must be very well acquainted with these split red lentils and must be preparing them regularly in many delicious ways,…but the following very simple version occupies a special place in our hearts, and comforts us. Isn’t it amazing how such simple recipes can give one so much of pleasure.
We had our dinner yesterday of plain rice accompanied with the following recipe for split red lentil soup and some roasted cuminy potato wedges( recipe here)…a nice, simple and comforting meal…one that leaves you feeling happy and contented. …which made me want to share that happiness with all my readers and a few more , so am sending it to dear Suganya as an entry for her Vegan Venture…nothing spectacular, but very soothing indeed! The recipe for my lentil soup follows…
8-9 handfuls of split red lentils, washed and drained
4 glasses of water ( may need some more later)
1/2 a medium sized butternut squash, peeled, the insides scooped and chopped
6-7 french beans, stringed and cut into 1-1and 1/2 inch pieces
2 small or 1 large tomato, chopped
3 pods of garlic, chopped
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
a small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
- Place the lentils in 4 glasses of water in a pan over medium heat, along with the garlic, ginger and salt.
- Simmer till the lentils are half cooked, discarding the froth collecting on the top.
- Add the squash, beans and tomatoes and cook till both the vegetables and the lentils are done( the lentils lose their shape). More water may be needed at this stage, but take care not to add too much at a time.
- Add the turmeric , stir and then add the coriander.
- Simmer for 2 more minutes and remove from heat.
- Serve hot on it’s own or with some plain rice.