Madhur Jaffrey completely won me over with this super easy and heart warming recipe of red lentils or dal as we call it in India. A cold, rainy day and a bowl of dal and some fresh cooked basmati rice is just what the soul needs. Dal is definitely a staple when I am home sick or just need some comfort food. In India, some form of lentils is made almost on a daily basis and for good reason too as you will see below.

This small red colored lentil, helps boost body energy supply by providing you with slow burning carbohydrates and also by replenishing your iron supplies. Other benefits of red lentils or Masoor includes its antioxidant properties which makes it anti aging food, high fiber content useful in weight loss and diabetes, ability to aid digestion, regulate cholesterol in body, increase immunity, reduce risk of cancer and inflammatory diseases and its benefits for skin, eyes and bones. Of all the different types of lentils, the red lentil, also known as Masoor dal happens to be the tastiest and sweetest type. You can read more about the health benefits of red lentils here.

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1-2 dried, whole red chilies
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 4 cups of water
  1. Put the lentils in a lidded pan with 4 cups of water and bring to boil. (Do not let it boil over).
  2. Skim the scum that rises to the top with a slotted spoon and partially cover with lid.
  3. Reduce flame to low and cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until tender.
  4. Stir in the cayenne pepper and salt.
  5. Taste, adding more salt if needed.
  6. In a small pan, heat the ghee or oil until very hot.
  7. Put in the chilies.
  8. As soon as they darken, add the garlic.
  9. When the garlic turns golden-brown on both sides, pour the oil and seasonings into the pan of lentils.
  10. Cover the pan immediately to trap aromas.
  11. Serve hot with rice or roti.