Category: Dal
Rating: 4.30
Servings: 4


1 1/2 cup red lentils
3 1/2 cup water
6 serrano chilies (or 3 jalepeno?); either whole or sliced in
1/4 teaspoon turmeric; or more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon ghee; butter or vegetable oil
1 cup minced onions
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon panch phanon mix
4 dried small red chilies (up to)
3 cloves garlic

Directions: How to Cook Bengali Red Lentil Dal

Key spice: Panch Phanon Mix, also known as Five Spice (do not substitute Chinese Five Spice!) Equal proportions of whole cumin, fenugreek, anise, mustard, "Indian black onion" seeds (kalunji). You will need to go to an Indian Store to get the last ingredient. It is not related to the onion.

There are three basic steps to this recipe: cooking the lentils in water, making a tomato/onion/ginger mush, and making a spiced oil.

1. Rinse lentils well, add water, serrano chilies, turmeric and salt. Bring carefully to boil and cook over low to medium heat, partially covered, for 25 minutes. Cover and cook another 10 minutes. Adjust salt.

2. While lentils are cooking, cook onions in a frying pan in the oil until they are golden brown (approximately 10 minutes), stirring constantly. Add tomatoes and ginger and continue cooking until the tomatoes decompose into a delicious and fragrant mush (approximately 8 minutes.) Stir constantly so that tomato mixture doesn't stick. Turn heat to low if necessary.

3. Scrape out this mush into the lentils and stir it in. Let lentils sit while you make the spiced oil.

4. Do a quick rinse of the frying pan, without soap, and dry thoroughly. Add the remaining 2T oil and heat over medium high heat. When oil is hot add panch phanon mix and heat until the seeds begin to pop, about 15 seconds. Add red chilies and fry for another 15 seconds, until they turn a little darker. Turn off heat and add the crushed garlic and let sizzle for about 30 seconds. Stir this mixture into the lentil/tomato mixture and serve with rice. Adjust salt.

NOTE: Using ghee changes the taste compared with oil. I prefer it for step 4. It tastes good either way though.




From archives. Downloaded from Glen's MM Recipe Archive,

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Related recipes:
Tarka Dal
Green Chilli Dhal
Fat-Free Dal (Lentils)
Chana Dal
Masala Dal

Recent comments and reviews for this recipe:

lisa writes:

very good and fast. love it

Posted on 16 May 2008, 18:03 ET

Marty writes:

Jonathan Kandell,
I DEFINITELY have to give you credit for this recipe!!! GREAT recipe!!! I used ghee in the frying of the onion/tomato/ginger mixture (step 2), as well as the spice mix (step 4). Then I topped it all of with some Shah Pasand brand Basmati rice!!! The only thing I think I could have done better, was to let the Daal sit overnight first before trying it (it's always better the next day when the spices have mingled with the lentils for a while). Thank you so much for sharing!!!



Posted on 23 Oct 2008, 18:35 ET

Mikhaila Tauborn writes:

Love your recipe!
I was with an Indian guy for many years and one of the perks was definatly his sisters food.
One of my favs were her Lentils but i could never make them how she used to.
so i looked on the internet and found your recipe, just finished making it and its really nice and as close to Sukh's as i think i will ever get. The only thing was that I also added Cardomon pods and mustard seeds, YUMMY!
So that for sharing im very happy :-)

Posted on 14 Nov 2008, 08:07 ET

Farook writes:

This is a fantastic authentic recipe. Try this with chingri much-er chotchuri

Posted on 22 Mar 2010, 13:08 ET

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