October 11, 2012

Masoor dal with pattypan squash

Aunt Mojca had bought a packet of red lentils, and she wished to learn some simple Indian recipes using those. Lentils in Bengal are quite watery. Often we add different seasonal vegetables and keep it simple with maybe a bit of cumin, ginger, nigella seeds etc used to temper the fat. Therefore, that is what I wished to show to aunt Mojca. The plan was to use simple spices so that she can later cook the same recipe without having to worry about where to get the more exotic Indian spices. Squashes are perfect complimentary vegetables for this dal, and we decided to dice in the pattypan squash growing in her garden. While we enjoyed the dal with the steaming rice during lunch, I also told her about different variations of the same preparation that she can make.

You can print the recipe for your kitchen here: PRINTABLE RECIPE

(Serves 4)

200g massor dal (split red lentils)
1 medium pattypan squash
1.5tbsp ginger paste
1/2sp turmeric powder
1sp cumin seeds
2tbsp ghee
Salt, sugar


1.       Wash the split red lentils. Dice the pattypan squash into small cubes.
2.       In a heavy bottomed pot, add the lentils, ginger paste, turmeric powder, salt to taste, and a pinch of sugar. Add 750ml of water. Bring to boil and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
3.       Using a hand blender give the lentils a quick blend. Add the pattypan squash. Simmer covered for 15-20 more minutes until the squash is soft and lentil well cooked. (Add more water while cooking if necessary to get a thick soupy consistency).
4.       In a small wok, heat the ghee. Temper it with the cumin seeds. When the seeds start crackling, add the tempered ghee into the cooked lentils. Give a gentle stir before serving with steaming rice.

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