Spiced Red Lentils (Masoor Dal)
A blend of aromatic spices along with the wholesome earthiness of the lentils makes dal, or spiced stewed lentils, a satisfying vegetarian meal as well as a complementary side to any Indian main dish.
Why This Recipe Works
For our red lentils (or dal) recipe, we weeded through an array of spices and spice blends such as garam masala to determine our favorite mix for the dal—it turned out to be a combination of coriander, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, and red pepper flakes. It took some trial and error to get the consistency of the cooked dal recipe just right—too much water and the dish wound up thin and soupy; too little and it was thick and pasty. The lentils were tender and starting to disintegrate after only about 20 minutes of simmering. At this point, we added chopped fresh tomatoes for acidity and sweetness, minced cilantro for color and herbal notes, and butter to round out the flavors.