1 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
4 cups water
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red chile (or more to taste)
Rinse lentils 2 or 3 times until water is not foamy and runs clear. In a large stockpot, combine lentils and water and all spices; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes (without lid) until the lentils are soft, somewhere between thick and soupy.
A tadka is a spice combination heated in hot oil or ghee (clarified butter) to release its unique essences. A tadka is truly what makes the dish flavorful. A simple tadka creates a tasty and complex dish with little effort. The spices used are always freshly cooked and added to the dish within minutes of serving.
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced tomato
Heat oil in a small frying pan. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for about 10 seconds. Add the red onion and saute until softened. Add the tomato and continue to saute until everything becomes close to caramelized. Add to cooked dal (lentils) and serve immediately with basmati rice.