A hot sauce (chiles, garlic, and vinegar) is the secret to getting the right flavor profile in this lentil dal. Serve this as a part of a meal, or with rice or naan or other flatbread.
¾ cup brown lentils, washed and drained
2 cups water
2 to 3 teaspoons safflower or other neutral oil
½ cup finely chopped red or white onion
6 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon fenugreek leaves or ⅛ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1½ tablespoons sriracha or other hot sauce, to taste
2 tablespoons water
1½ cups chopped tomato
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
1 tablespoon vegan butter (optional)
Combine the lentils with 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Partially cover and cook over medium heat until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, make the tempering. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
In a blender, combine the garlic, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, fenugreek, paprika, nutmeg, black pepper, sriracha, and 2 tablespoons of water. Blend to combine well.
Add this paste to the onions in the skillet. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and salt, and cook until the tomatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Mash the larger tomato pieces.
Add the tempering to the lentils. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Taste and adjust salt and spice. Garnish with cilantro and vegan butter, if using, and serve hot.
Recipe by VegKitchen at https://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/masala-lentils-sabut-masoor/