Red Lentil Soup (Masoor Daal)
This is my go-to recipe when I don’t know what to cook or if I’m feeling run down – it’s comfort food Pakistani-style.
- 1 cup red (masoor) lentils (thoroughly washed)
- 3 cups water
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp red chilli powder or cayenne powder
- Salt according to taste
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped or crushed)
- 1 medium tomato (chopped)
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
- 3-4 small green chilli peppers (optional)
Optional: ½ tsp chaat masala (can be found in most grocery stores and Indian/Pakistani stores)
Tempering (Tarka/Baghar): 2 tbsp cooking oil, 2 cloves garlic (sliced), 2-3 curry leaves, 2-3 dried whole red chilli peppers, 1 pinch whole cumin seeds
Add the lentils and water to a pot and bring to a boil. While boiling, add the turmeric, red chilli powder, salt, garlic, and tomato. Reduce heat to below medium and cook partially covered for ~15min. Add the coriander leaves, green chilli peppers, chaat masala, and more water if the daal is too thick for your liking. Cook for another 5 minutes and turn the heat off.
While the daal is cooking for the last 10min, prepare the tempering: Heat the oil on medium-high in a pan and once it is hot, add the sliced garlic and curry leaves to the oil (make sure the leaves aren’t wet from washing!). Once the garlic is golden, add the dried red chilli peppers and and cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds are fragrant, turn the heat off, pour the tempering into the daal and shut the lid for 30 seconds so all the delicious flavours of the tempered spices permeate through the daal. Uncover, mix the daal and tempering, and enjoy as a soup or eat with rice. Makes ~4 servings.