Dal Masoor

From Yasmin Irani

2017 Mar/Apr


  • 2 c. red lentils
  • salt to taste
  • 1 t. turmeric
  • 1/2 t. cumin seeds


  • 1/4 c. melted butter or ghee
  • 1 t. cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves finely sliced garlic


Wash the lentils until the water runs clear. To speed up cooking, you can soak them for an hour beforehand. Drain and place in a pot. Add about twice the volume of water, salt, turmeric and cumin seeds. (Yasmin likes to bruise the cumin seeds lightly using a mortar and pestle). Bring to the boil with the lid off so that it doesn’t boil over. Once boiling, lower the heat, skim the foam off and place the lid halfway over the pan. When the lentils start to thicken, you can put the lid on completely. Once the lentils have disintegrated, (about 30 minutes), whisk them to make a thick purée.
To prepare the garnish, melt the butter or ghee in a small pan until it sizzles. Add slightly crushed cumin seeds and garlic – they should be swimming – until the garlic browns. Some people like to pour this over the lentils. Yasmin prefers to serve it on the side so that people watching their diets can take as little, or as much, as they want. Keep it warm in a small fondue pot.