North Indian Lentil Stew

This is ultimate comfort food for the South Asian kid. Ask anyone in their 30s or 40s what they love most? Chances are they’ll say “daal” (lentils). Poor man and rich man alike, everyone loves this stuff. Lentils are varied, cheap and extremely nutritious.

Time: 1 1/4 hour

1 cup yellow split lentils, soaked for 30 minutes or even overnight
2-3 cups water
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp butter/ ghee (clarified butter)

Spice Mix
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp asofetida (hing)
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chilli, chopped (optional)
Coriander leaves for garnish

Put soaked lentils with ginger and garlic pastes, chilli and chilli powder and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until just soft (about 45 minutes – 1 hour). Add in the chopped tomatoes and salt. If you add the tomatoes earlier, the acid will prevent the lentils from softening. Simmer for further fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, heat the butter and fry the cumin seeds and once they brown (do not burn them!) pour the butter and cumin into the stew. Top with coriander leaves and serve with steamed/boiled Basmati rice.

Note: You can substitute all lentils for each other in this dish.