A Simple Dal Recipe by Surya Sajnani


A Simple Dal Recipe

I moved to the United States from India when I was 28 years old. I love my new home, and once I had kids, I found they preferred mac and cheese and pizza to Indian food!

My biggest struggle living in the States is missing my home-town food! I LOVE Indian food and crave it at least twice a week.

Dal (lentil) and rice is a staple of every Indian household, and growing up, that's what we ate every day, along with a vegetable or meat. Every household has their own way of making dal, so every time we visited someone, the dal in their house would taste totally different from the dal at my house! This is the dal that my kids will remember as their 'house dal'.


1 cup Red lentils
4 cloves garlic
1 tomato
1 cup vegetable (I used moringa from our tree, which I love to use as it's got wonderful medicinal properties that fight colds and flu). See it's properties here: http://miracletrees.org/moringa_medicine.html
I also use zucchini, and/or eggplant if I have, as they blend easily with the dal and don't have a strong taste.
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1tsp salt

1 tbsp vegetable oil (I use sesame oil)

1 tsp mustard seeds

Wash lentils well till the water runs clear. Add 3 cups water, chopped garlic, tomato, vegetables, salt and spices. Bring to a boil and cook on medium or low flame till dal is tender - about 30-40 minutes in a pot. I cook it in a pressure cooker so it takes about 10 minutes. Once the dal is ready, add the tempering. Heat one tbsp of oil in a small pan. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds till they pop. Add this hot oil with popping seeds to the cooked dal and stir in. That's it! Easy, quick and nutritious!

Written and Shared by Surya Sajnani from Wee Gallery