Indian Yellow Dal With Spicy Tempered Ghee

December 25, 2013

What is tempered ghee, you ask? Tempering (or tadka) is a method commonly used in Indian cooking where spices are heated in oil or ghee (clarified butter) in order to bring out their most flavorful essence. Tempered spices can be added at the beginning of the cooking process or at the end. In this dal recipe by Naive cook cooks, her tempered spices are added just before serving, much like a finishing oil. The blend of spices adds a beautiful depth of flavor and aroma to the dish that utterly tantalizes the senses.

Spicy Tempered Indian Masoor Dal With Cumin and Red Chili Tempered Ghee
Submitted to Foodista by Naive cook cooks
Note: This dish is easily made vegan by substituting ghee for coconut oil. It is also gluten free.

1/2 cup masoor dal (yellow split peas), picked and rinsed in cold running water
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil for tempering
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 – 1 tsp red chili powder
Fresh chopped herbs like cilantro or mint or parsley to garnish (optional)
Lime juice (optional)

In a pot, add the cleaned dal along with 2-3 cups of water. Add 1/2 tsp salt and turmeric. Let it boil on medium high. Keep checking after every 7-10 mins to add more water when getting dry. It takes around 30 minutes to get fully cooked. When you touch dal, it should be soft to touch and should mush around easily. You know, it is ready to eat. You can add more water once done, according to desired consistency. Give it a good boil again. Keep aside. Taste salt and adjust.

It tastes best if you do tempering just before serving as it retains the maximum flavor and aroma. In a small pot, add ghee or coconut oil . Once hot, to it add cumin seeds. Watch out, they will splutter. Once they finish spluttering, lower the flame and add red chili powder. Cook for 3-5 seconds and turn off the gas. Watch out as red chili powder burns very quickly. Pour it over hot dal.