Meatless Monday: Masoor dal with cumin seed oil

A delicious Indian dish, ready to go in 20 minutes.

Beyond The Peel
Dal is a meal made up of pulses (dried lentils, peas, or beans) which have been stripped of their outer hulls and split. In this photo, the dal is turned a bright yellow from turmeric seasoning and served on a sprouted brown rice and bean mix.

If I had to pick one type of cuisine to eat for the rest of my life it would be…


But if I had to pick three types of cuisine, then I’d settle on Mexican, French, and Indian. The amount of joy that I get from those types of dishes is beyond amazing. They’re like the trifecta of food in my opinion.

The other night it was my turn to make dinner and Indian food just felt right. Normally, when we make Indian food it tends to be an all day affair. We love making chana masala, butter chicken and garam masala, but those all take a while to make. But what about dal (some people spell it daal, dahl, or dhal – whatever you prefer)? Now that’s a winner – and it’s fast.

I’m partial to red lentils, so making masoor daal sounded just right. Masoor dal is made with red lentils, which I absolutely love. I didn’t have a recipe in mind, so a quick Google search lead me to this recipe. I made a few modifications, namely using coconut oil instead of veggie oil, fresh onion instead of dried onion, and adding pink Himalayan salt and some Meyer lemon juice. What resulted was a fast, delicious, and very easy to make Indian dish, ready to go in 20 minutes.

Now that’s my kind of meal.

Masoor Dal with Cumin Seed Oil
Adapted from

Masoor Dal

1 cup red lentils
About 3 cups of water
1 piece of ginger, 1-x1/2-inch thick, peeled
1/4 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Juice of 1/2 Meyer Lemon

Cumin Seed Oil

4-5 teaspoons coconut oil
1/4 of an onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

In a medium size pot pour in the red lentils. Fill the pot with enough water so the lentils are covered with about 3/4 inch of water. Toss the ginger, turmeric, salt, and cayenne pepper in to the pot with the lentils. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes. Scrape off any froth. Squeeze the Meyer lemon juice in about 2 minutes before the lentils are done. If there is an excess of water, allow to cook uncovered to reduce.

While the lentils are cooking, put the coconut oil in a small sauce pan on low to medium heat. Finely dice the 1/4 onion and throw into the sauce pan along with the cumin seeds. Sauté for 5 minutes. Mix the Cumin Seed Oil in with the lentils while they cook.

To Serve: I served this on a sprouted brown rice and sprouted bean mix which was heavenly and topped with fresh cilantro. You can serve this on your favorite sprouted rice, quinoa, or it’s great as a stand alone or side dish to other Indian food.

Related post: Carrot Pakora Style Veggie Patties with a Mint Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

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