Parippu (Lentil Dal)

Parippu (Lentil Dal)

I absolutely love Indian cuisine but for some reason, I have been quite intimidated to prepare it at home.  Coming from my background of simple Italian cooking, I wasn't sure that I was even qualified!  At some point I decided that if I wanted to eat Indian cuisine more frequently, without going broke, I would have to jump right in and give it a try.  I decided to start with a dish that is relatively easy and a dish that I order regularly.  Lentil dal!  Dal is a wonderfully flavorful vegetarian dish.  I have tried several different dal recipes but this is by far the best one I have come across.  I slightly adapted (added a few ingredients) this recipe from the original in the cookbook, The Food of India.  This has become a go-to recipe in our home because it is loved so much! I hope that you enjoy it as well.   

Parippu (Lentil Dal)

1 cup of masoor dal (red lentils), picked through and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
1 medium sized ripe tomato, chopped
1 cup of coconut milk
2 cups of water
2 small green chilies, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 tsp. of turmeric
1/2 tsp. of cumin
1/2 tsp. of coriander

For the tarka (final seasoning):

2 Tbsp. of coconut oil
1 tsp. of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of black mustard seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
10 curry leaves, rinsed and dried
2 dried red chilies, rinsed and dried

Place all of the ingredients minus the items for the tarka, into a Dutch oven and bring to a boil, covered. Once the mixture has come to a boil, turn it to a simmer, and cook for 25 minutes or so, covered.  While the lentils cook, prepare your tarka.  Heat the oil over low heat in a pan. Add the cumin, mustard seeds and cover.  When the mustard seeds pop, carefully add the onion, curry leaves, and dried chilies.  Use the lid as a shield because your pan will spit when you add these ingredients! Cook the tarka until the onions are nicely browned. Add the tarka to the hot lentils, season with salt, and cook for 5 or 10 more minutes.  Serve over Basmati rice and enjoy! 

Photos by Becky Loves Cooking
Recipe adapted from The Food of India by Murdoch Books


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