September 24, 2008

Weeknight Dinner: Masoor Dal & Raita

dal raita

When I mentioned to the mothers that I want to post recipes from this dinner, they both expressed surprise. "This, but this is regular dinner!" It is exactly for this reason that I want to blog about this. But I can tell you this, it was great. A simple dinner after a long day is relaxing and calming.

I have not had a dal like this in so long. I had this growing up all the time and used to be a favorite. Eating this brought back memories, almost in the same vein as Ratatouille critic's reaction ;) The lightness of the masoor dal combined with the caramelized onion, sweet tomato, the spiciness from ginger and green chile and the freshness of cilantro made this dal hearty and a great comfort food. It was so good, I took some to work the next day to drink as quick soup.

The raita on the other hand had the great pepper taste and the combination of red and green pepper made this delicious side dish with the sabzi and dal.

Here are the recipes:

Masoor Dal

masoor dal

1 cup masoor dal
1 small onion - chopped
1" inch ginger - grated
1 small tomato - chopped
2 green chiles - slit
5-6 strands cilantro - chopped
1/4 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon panch phoron
salt to taste
1 tspoon oil

Boil the dal with salt and turmeric powder. In a saucepan, heat oil and temper it with panch phoron, green chiles, and grated ginger. Saute and then add onion. Saute it for a couple of minutes. Then add tomatoes and let it cook till it turns soft. Add the boiled dal and let it cook together for another 4-5 minutes.

Garnish it with cilantro and serve warm.

Bell Pepper Raita

pepper raita

1 cup yogurt (we make yogurt with 1% milk)
1/3 red pepper - chopped
1/3 green pepper - chopped

For tempering
1/4 tspoon mustard seeds
1/4 tspoon urad dal
1/4 tspoon methi seeds
1/4 tspoon red chile powder
1/4 tspoon turmeric powder
1 tspoon oil
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan and temper it with all the masala. Then add the peppers in and let it cook with closed lid till they turn soft. I like it a little crunchy so we semi-cooked it. Take it off the heat and cool.

Beat the yogurt (add 1 -2 tbspoon water if needed) till it becomes smooth. Add the peppers, mix well and serve.


  1. comfort food at its best!

  2. I remember my ma making us drink this dal, thin and hot with a little ghee whenever we had a cold.Love masoor dal anyday. :-)
    Raita looks good too.

  3. Mandira, thanks so much for posting the masoor dal recipe :) I had it a lot while growing up and though it wasn't one of my favorites (I preferred the chola'r dal with coconut and raisin),I really crave for it now. Just looking at the pic made me all nostalgic. I'm definitely going to try it this weekend :)

    P.S. I was convinced that I had zilch culinary skills but thanks to your blog I can not only make gobi mattar, paneer jhalfrezi, and aloo zucchini, but I now also have panch phoron in my kitchen :)

  4. yes, this is the best comfort food after a long day of work!

  5. That is such a simple and tasty dinner

  6. Such meals are so comforting .We have this dal quite frequently...our favourite dal.We make it similarly, but, nowadays I avoid the tempering...I make it thick and add some garlic while boiling the dal, not adding too much water at one go... followed by a little turmeric and some chopped coriander towards the end...this has won over everyone to whom it has been served till now :-).

  7. total comfort food .. love masoor dal

  8. these dinner/meals so comforting

  9. Yeah for me also dal is one of the most omfort food

  10. your way of making dal is the same as mine!!! how exciting, coz really there are a zillion ways in which people make them!

    i have never been a fan of yellow masoor dal. but since my husband LOVES it, it's growing on me. :)

  11. Simple...satisfying, I like it.

  12. Seems I hav missed too many yummy posts of urs...And raita looks so colour ful!!

  13. simple yet delicious.....

  14. comfort food indeed!

  15. It looks good, but I really want to make and try the raita :)

  16. anytime of the day give a bowl of dal and raita and i am one happy girl :)

  17. i've started using masoor dal a lot now and really love it. i also add it to toor dal and cook them together. it makes the whole thing creamy.

  18. Thank you all for your comments. I have been little caught up with work etc.

    Sharmila, Nags, Uma, Hima, Deesha, Smn, Happy Cook, Pooh, Rak's Kitchen, Sangeeth, Divya Vikram, Sia - thanks, it is comfort food at its best. And rediscovering this specific recipe was great too... Moms are the best ;)

    Quirkyalone thanks for dropping by. Aswin forwarded me your comments :) I never found out how much I liked cooking till I started. Cholar dal with narkal coming up next!

    Sunita - Your version sounds delicious too, will have to try it.

    Megha - I am rediscovering this recipe and now remember why I liked it so much :)

    Bee - What a coincidence! I recently had this combination at my Sis-in-law's place. It was really creamy, I have to get the recipe now...

  19. Sometimes simple sounds all the more delicious... I would love to have this for dinner any night!


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