How to Cook Basic Dhal or Lentil Stew

This is a vegan & gluten free comfort food. Once you have learnt the basic you can make it your own by adjusting the consistency, the spices & even adding some vegetables. Give it a go!

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How to Cook Basic Dhal or Lentil Stew Recipe
23 Steps
Ingredients
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1
Dhal is a good source of protein,fiber,potassium & iron. Hence this stew is healthy & nourishing. You can serve this as it is or with roti, paratha, chapati or rice.

Dhal is a good source of protein,fiber,potassium & iron. Hence this stew is healthy & nourishing. You can serve this as it is or with roti, paratha, chapati or rice.

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Cooking times (one cup of the following lentils) Masoor Dhal/Split red lentils- 10-15 min Moong Dhal/Green gram - 20-25 minutes

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I am using mung beans for this recipe today. This is how it looks.

I am using mung beans for this recipe today. This is how it looks.

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You can use a skinless or husk less split green gram like this to save time instead of removing the skins. Measure one cup of green gram.

You can use a skinless or husk less split green gram like this to save time instead of removing the skins. Measure one cup of green gram.

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Soak it in 2 cups of water for an hour

Soak it in 2 cups of water for an hour

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After an hour discard the water & drain the lentils.

After an hour discard the water & drain the lentils.

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Add the lentil to a clean pot with turmeric and a pinch of salt.

Add the lentil to a clean pot with turmeric and a pinch of salt.

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If you like a thick dhal dish add 2 cups of water. If you like it runnier add 2 1/2 cups of water

If you like a thick dhal dish add 2 cups of water. If you like it runnier add 2 1/2 cups of water

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Cook it on medium flame with lid on. You may also cook this in a pressure cooker. You will need to skim the foam off the lentil.

Cook it on medium flame with lid on. You may also cook this in a pressure cooker. You will need to skim the foam off the lentil.

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This is 20 minutes through the cooking time. You can stop at this stage. I prefer it mushier so I cook it for 5 minutes more and smash the lentils lightly using the back of a wooden spoon.

This is 20 minutes through the cooking time. You can stop at this stage. I prefer it mushier so I cook it for 5 minutes more and smash the lentils lightly using the back of a wooden spoon.

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Now that the lentils are soft and cooked- switch off the flame.

Now that the lentils are soft and cooked- switch off the flame.

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Now it's time to build a little flavor by tempering spice. Start by heating 1tspn vegetable oil.

Now it's time to build a little flavor by tempering spice. Start by heating 1tspn vegetable oil.

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Add black mustard seeds

Add black mustard seeds

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It will splutter and crackle to indicate its cooked. It will impart its natural oils.

It will splutter and crackle to indicate its cooked. It will impart its natural oils.

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Tip it onto the lentils

Tip it onto the lentils

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Taste. Mix well & Adjust salt. Now it's ready. A basic dhal. You can serve it as it is.

Taste. Mix well & Adjust salt. Now it's ready. A basic dhal. You can serve it as it is.

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I am going to build up some flavor onto this dhal. Start by heating 1tspn vegetable oil. Add 1tsp whole cumin seed.

I am going to build up some flavor onto this dhal. Start by heating 1tspn vegetable oil. Add 1tsp whole cumin seed.

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As an optional ingredient you may add some diced onion, crush garlic, diced chili or dried red chili.

As an optional ingredient you may add some diced onion, crush garlic, diced chili or dried red chili.

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Add a sprig of curry leaves & a hint of asafetida powder. This tempering mix is fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic & spices. When it is done switch off the flame.

Add a sprig of curry leaves & a hint of asafetida powder. This tempering mix is fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic & spices. When it is done switch off the flame.

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Add the tempering spice to the lentils. Stir through.

Add the tempering spice to the lentils. Stir through.

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You can serve this as it is.

You can serve this as it is.

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If you like a little sourness add a diced tomato when you cook the lentils. You can turn this to a vegetable & lentil stew too. Eggplant, carrot, drumstick, green banana are suitable for this dish.

If you like a little sourness add a diced tomato when you cook the lentils. You can turn this to a vegetable & lentil stew too. Eggplant, carrot, drumstick, green banana are suitable for this dish.

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For those who are not vegan - you may add a flat tablespoon of ghee or clarified butter at the end while the lentil is still hot. This gives a creamier taste. Bon appetite.

For those who are not vegan - you may add a flat tablespoon of ghee or clarified butter at the end while the lentil is still hot. This gives a creamier taste. Bon appetite.

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