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Starter Dal


1 cup beans or pulses (split peas, lentils, moong beans, toor beans, etc)
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp olive or canola oil
salt to taste
1 tomato, diced
fresh coriander (to taste)


1. Rinse the pulses several times and soak for up to 1 hour if possible.

2. In a large pot, combine the pulses with 3 cups of water. Cook on medium-high heat until pulses begin to soften and split, adding more water as needed.

3. When pulses are soft, begin to toast salt, chili powder, cumin powder, turmeric, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ginger, and garlic in a small sautee pan with the oil for about 1 minute.

4. Add toasted spices to the cooking pulses. Stir well to combine, and continue to cook pulses until they are soft and easily crushed with the fingers, adding water as needed.

5. Remove 1/2 cup of the dal from the pot and blend using a mixer or hand-blender. Return the dal to the pot.

6. Add water to the dal until it reaches the desired consistancy. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Remove pot from heat, add tomato and coriander.

8. Serve hot with roti, rice, vegetables, or meat.