This is a really tasty dhal recipe because the spices are added at the beginning , rather than at the end of cooking, giving it a more intense flavour. The recipe is adapted from one in great recipe book called 100 great Indian recipes , compiled by Master Chefs of India and published by Lustre Press ( Roli Books)
The original recipe , called Khade Masoor ke Dal ( Lentil flavoured with Curry Leaves)had far more Ghee and chillies in it making it a very rich dish which I am sure would be exceptionally delicious but very calorific and too hot for some.
Instead of garlic and ginger paste I chopped some garlic and grated some fresh ginger.
The curry leaves are an important part of this recipe. Asian food stores often stock them. They taste much better fresh than frozen.
Red Dhal with Curry Leaves
1 cup of red lentils ( masoor dhal, rinsed thoroughly)
2 tablespoons of ghee/ vegetable oil
1 large onion (finely chopped.
2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 yellow chili ( from which the seeds have been scraped out and discarded.The chili is then finely chopped)
1 tablespoon of finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon of red chili powder
1 teaspoon of turmeric
12 curry leaves
Salt to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Heat the ghee/oil in a pan.
Add the onions, yellow chili, garlic, ginger , red chili powder, and curry leaves. Fry for 3 minutes.
Add the lentils and salt. Fry for a further 4 minutes.
Pour in 2 cups of hot water.
Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until tender and the ghee/oil surfaces
Add the lemon juice and serve.