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Traditional Indian Restaurant Recipes => Traditional Indian Recipes => Topic started by: colin grigson on February 22, 2012, 03:05 PM

Title: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: colin grigson on February 22, 2012, 03:05 PM
My Bangladeshi friend showed me this and I was impressed because a) it's tasty and quick and b) a biffa like me can cook it time and time again and it always turns out nice.

You'll need : to serve 4 as a generous side dish

200g red lentils washed under cold water in a sieve for at least a couple of minutes
half an onion chopped smallish
3 cloves garlic sliced
1/2  teaspoon Panch Phoron
5 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 bay leaf
1 + 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 teaspoon cumin powder
2 dry chillies
water
2 tablespoons of fresh coriander chopped fine

In a wok : heat the oil over a highish heat and add 2 chillies and bay leaf , fry for 30 seconds or so and add the Panch Phoron , fry until you hear the seeds cracking / popping and then add the onion and garlic , fry until you can see the edges of the garlic and onion have caught a bit ( don't stir too often ). Add lentils and fry stirring often for about 5 minutes ( you'll see the lentils turning yellow ), add turmeric , cumin and 1 teaspoon of the salt and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add enough water to cover the lentils with a layer of water around 1cm thick over them. Cook uncovered for 20ish minutes until you can see that the lentils are no longer round but are soft and hard to distinguish as lentils ( most of the water will have been absorbed by now ) add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt you have left and the chopped coriander and cook for a further minute or two.

It's that simple and cheap as .. well lentils
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Salvador Dhali on February 22, 2012, 04:20 PM
Many thanks, Colin.

I'm a massive fan of all manifestations of dhal, and that looks like a great recipe to me.

As a subtle tweak, I'd be tempted to leave the frying of the garlic until the very end to use tarka style. But then I'm a hopeless case when it comes to garlic heavy tarkas...
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Edwin Catflap on June 25, 2012, 01:01 PM
Hi made this Friday to go into a dhansak this week; it didn't survive!! It was too nice to leave so had it with UB,s Garlic chill chicken and it was deelish, the wife who doesn't "do" lentils is now a lentil holid!Got orders to do another batch today  :P  :)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Edwin Catflap on June 25, 2012, 01:03 PM
Oops meant lentil holic!
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: colin grigson on June 25, 2012, 02:11 PM
Glad you enjoyed it Eddie !

It's a shame more haven't tried as it's top drawer this one IMHO   ;)

It particularly suits a dhansak   :)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: 976bar on June 25, 2012, 03:56 PM
It looks great Colin, I love Dhal...

Will certainly be giving this ago :)

Good post mate!! :)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: 976bar on June 25, 2012, 04:01 PM
My Bangladeshi friend showed me this and I was impressed because a) it's tasty and quick and b) a biffa like me can cook it time and time again and it always turns out nice.

You'll need : to serve 4 as a generous side dish

200g red lentils washed under cold water in a sieve for at least a couple of minutes
half an onion chopped smallish
3 cloves garlic sliced
1/2  teaspoon Panch Phoron
5 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 bay leaf
1 + 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 teaspoon cumin powder
2 dry chillies
water
2 tablespoons of fresh coriander chopped fine

In a wok : heat the oil over a highish heat and add 2 chillies and bay leaf , fry for 30 seconds or so and add the Panch Phoron , fry until you hear the seeds cracking / popping and then add the onion and garlic , fry until you can see the edges of the garlic and onion have caught a bit ( don't stir too often ). Add lentils and fry stirring often for about 5 minutes ( you'll see the lentils turning yellow ), add turmeric , cumin and 1 teaspoon of the salt and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add enough water to cover the lentils with a layer of water around 1cm thick over them. Cook uncovered for 20ish minutes until you can see that the lentils are no longer round but are soft and hard to distinguish as lentils ( most of the water will have been absorbed by now ) add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt you have left and the chopped coriander and cook for a further minute or two.

It's that simple and cheap as .. well lentils

Just a couple of questions Colin if I may?

Could the dried chilies be replaced with fresh ones?

Would adding the garlic after the onions have had time to soften and go translucent be a better practice, as this would stop the garlic getting burnt and turning bitter?

And lastly, do you add boiling water or cold water and bring to the boil?

Regards,

Bob
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: colin grigson on June 25, 2012, 04:35 PM
Hi Bob ,

I hope you do give this a go .. I'd be interested to hear what 'an experienced member' has to say   ;)

Regarding your queries ... I'm sure fresh chillies could be used just as well .. the garlic and onion go into to gether and just 'catch' but you could try your way just as well and finally I add cold water and bring to the boil .

I hope this helps and good luck !
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: 976bar on June 25, 2012, 04:52 PM
Hi Colin,

I will always try someone's recipe the way they do it first because it's too good an opportunity to learn something new and miss it :)

The only reason I asked about the garlic was that it turns at the edges, then other dryish ingredients are added and the garlic is cooked for another 7 minutes before the water is added. I was just wondering if this was enough for the garlic to burn prior to adding water, but as I said i will try it your way first and I am sure it's delicious :)

Thanks again for posting :)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: colin grigson on June 25, 2012, 05:43 PM
Hi Bob ,

I use elephant garlic ( those large single cloves from China I think ) for my BIR dishes ... I'm not sure if they're a little more tolerant to high heat but err on the side of caution ... it would be a shame to spoil the dish for burning the garlic or as SD suggests above add it as a tarka at the end ...

I love these lentils by the way and cook them often and have found that sometimes the second 0.5 tsp of salt is too much .. taste and see what you think ..  a little extra coriander doesn't hurt either    ;)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: 976bar on June 25, 2012, 06:56 PM
Hi Bob ,

I use elephant garlic ( those large single cloves from China I think ) for my BIR dishes ... I'm not sure if they're a little more tolerant to high heat but err on the side of caution ... it would be a shame to spoil the dish for burning the garlic or as SD suggests above add it as a tarka at the end ...

I love these lentils by the way and cook them often and have found that sometimes the second 0.5 tsp of salt is too much .. taste and see what you think ..  a little extra coriander doesn't hurt either    ;)

I'm looking forward to it and thanks for the advice, I've seen this Elephant garlic in a Chinese store near me, I'll go get some :)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: 976bar on June 27, 2012, 04:05 PM
I made this today and have to say I was extremely impressed :)

I did use 2 fresh chilies as I had no dried ones to hand, and I have to admit that I didn't have the courage to add the garlic at the onion stage, but cooked the onions for 2-3 minutes then added the garlic, and I must say I am glad that I did as the garlic was cooked to perfection for my taste. I really don't like brown burnt tasting garlic.

I think this dish has a lot of flavour and one of the reasons for making it is I want to make  Lamb Dhansak tomorrow, so it will be added to this.

I also love the hint of the Panch Poran which kicks in slightly and gives another dimension to this dhal.

Well done for posting this recipe Colin, in my mind it's a winner!! :)

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/5c065cd91629689d0be512080c787f46.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#5c065cd91629689d0be512080c787f46.jpg)

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/db78b3ec0f6db2aeba1542c955179581.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#db78b3ec0f6db2aeba1542c955179581.jpg)

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/853264384f01339b1093013a5e95882a.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#853264384f01339b1093013a5e95882a.jpg)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Edwin Catflap on June 27, 2012, 04:46 PM
Made this twice now and i can't keep it long enough to put into a Dhansak as the mrs scoffs it!! :( Well done Colin and your mate!
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: 976bar on June 27, 2012, 04:53 PM
Made this twice now and i can't keep it long enough to put into a Dhansak as the mrs scoffs it!! :( Well done Colin and your mate!

lol, You'll have to buy her some chocolates and hide the dhal in the back of the fridge whilst you make the Dhansak!!  ;D
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Malc. on June 27, 2012, 05:01 PM
Hi Colin,


Could you clarify if the recipe should use Asian or European Bay please?


Thanks in advance,


Malc.
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: 976bar on June 27, 2012, 05:05 PM
Hi Colin,


Could you clarify if the recipe should use Asian or European Bay please?


Thanks in advance,


Malc.

Hi Malc,

I used Asian Bay leaf today, which is sitting right on top of the final picture as I had forgotten to take it out  :)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Malc. on June 27, 2012, 05:15 PM
Hi Bob

Thanks, intend to do the same, but I will say I was convinced you had used European from the pics. Just goes to show eh.

Dish looks great!  :)

Cheers,

Malc.
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Naga on June 27, 2012, 05:38 PM
Looks good! I'm going to try this once I replenish my stock of lentils.
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: 976bar on June 27, 2012, 06:20 PM
Hi Bob

Thanks, intend to do the same, but I will say I was convinced you had used European from the pics. Just goes to show eh.

Dish looks great!  :)

Cheers,

Malc.

The packet say's Rajah Asian Bay Leaves, I hope they haven't turned me over!! ;D ;D
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: natterjak on June 27, 2012, 07:50 PM
Hi Bob

Thanks, intend to do the same, but I will say I was convinced you had used European from the pics. Just goes to show eh.

Dish looks great!  :)

Cheers,

Malc.

The packet say's Rajah Asian Bay Leaves, I hope they haven't turned me over!! ;D ;D

Rajah bay leaves are European bay, not Asian. At least every packet I've ever seen has been (which is why I've never bought them), and the bay leaves in your photo have a single longitudinal vein, not the 3 veins of Asian bay leaves. Are you really sure the packet states "Asian" bay?
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on June 27, 2012, 08:04 PM
Rajah bay leaves are European bay, not Asian. At least every packet I've ever seen has been (which is why I've never bought them), and the bay leaves in your photo have a single longitudinal vein, not the 3 veins of Asian bay leaves.

I'm afraid I must agree, and the "Spices of India" web site would appear to confirm this hypothesis :

Quote
Bay Leaves - Rajah - 10g
By: Rajah
Ref: ISW002
More: Rajah Ground Spices, Rajah Whole Spices, Rajah Seasonings

10g

'Mediterranean Bay Leaves have a mild and sweet taste with hints of pine and lemon. To use, tear into several large pieces - the torn edge imparts the flavour.

Quote
Indian Bay Leaves - Spices of India
By: Spices of India
Ref: ISW129-p
More: Own Label Whole Spices, Own Label Ground Spices

Net weight: 10g

Indian Bay Leaves (Tej Patta) are very different to Mediterranean Bay Leaves. They have a similar but milder fragrance and taste to cinnamon (cassia) bark. Indian Bay Leaves are used mainly in North Indian dishes and Moghul cuisine, in biryanis and garam masala blends.

Produce of India. 

** Phil.
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: PaulP on June 27, 2012, 08:38 PM
I also bought a packet of Rajah bay leaves and they were unfortunately European bay leaves.

Paul
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: curryhell on June 27, 2012, 11:08 PM
That bay leaf looks about as Asian as i do Bob :o. You've been done mate.  Two totally different animals in look, effect and taste ;).
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: colin grigson on June 28, 2012, 05:46 AM
When I prepare this I always use ordinary ie not Asian bay leaves but that's not to say it wouldn't taste great with an Asian one ... I may try it next time .

By the way thanks to those who've tried this , I find it so nice especially for a Dhansak where a BIR style tarka dhal doesn't suit IMHO.

'a winner' from 976bar ... praise enough !!   :)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Aussie Mick on June 28, 2012, 07:25 AM
I've just had this for lunch.

I didn't have any red lentils, so used moong dhal instead. It just took a little longer to cook, but very tasty indeed.

Thanks for sharing Colin
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: loveitspicy on June 28, 2012, 07:33 AM
Is there a shortage of Asian bay leaves over there? Might have to set up a little business!

I have used moong dhal and red lentils - the moong dhal has a slightly stronger flavour than red lentils

nice though

best, Rich
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: chewytikka on June 28, 2012, 08:36 AM
Good basic recipe Colin and a good effort Bob, but too dry for me.
English Bay Leaf isn't used at all in Bangladeshi BIR cooking.

Like I've said before Tej Patta is a fundamental ingredient in BIR and Traditional Indian flavours.
If your not using it, your no where near reaching your BIR goal.

I had a new dish in a restaurant last week, Panch Dhal which was excellent.
Basically translated as 5 different types of Dhal, mixed together and seasoned.
Will try and get a recipe for this at some point.

cheers Chewy
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Naga on July 06, 2012, 07:41 PM
I made a batch of Colin's Massur Dhal a couple of days ago and some of used it in preparing tonight's dinner - CA's Chicken Dhansak (minus the pineapple chunks and juice).

First of all, it tastes great in it's own right, and is superb hot with a few poppadums on the side to scoop it up.

I've been using Abdul Mohed's Dhansak recipe up till now, but I have to say that I prefer CA's version of the dish, and it is made even better with Colin's Massur Dhal. The Mohed version calls for the lentils to be boiled with a little turmeric and then smashed, but I definitely prefer the texture and added flavour of Colin's Dhal.

The combination of both recipes make this dish a keeper for me and I'm looking forward to eating the second portion tomorrow night! :)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: colin grigson on July 07, 2012, 05:34 AM
Thanks Naga for teying and reporting back ,

I'm especially pleased you liked it so much   :)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: curryhell on July 20, 2013, 06:21 PM
WOW  :o :P
I wanted to try a dhansak tonight for a change and needed some dhall obviously. I'd read this thread and seen the good comments and the recipe is simplicity itself.  I don't eat dhall normally, maybe the occasional spoonful of tarka dhall side dish that someone else has ordered. 
I've got to say it tastes fabulous.  Nice bit of heat for me as i added 5 dried exhot chillis.  The simple spicing and the salt really brings out the flavour.  I keep going back for more tasters ::)  I will definitely make this again and perhaps use some of it for tarka dhall, dhansak and have a bowl of it on its own.  MMM, lovely, well impressed non-dhall eater  ;D ;D  Will post a  couple of pics a bit later on.

The dhall underway

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/89b9aba14bde56d401eae08aefef166e.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#89b9aba14bde56d401eae08aefef166e.jpg)

the finished article...........YUM

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/739adce53b23bfa83c3fada53badfe6e.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#739adce53b23bfa83c3fada53badfe6e.jpg)

And the resultant dhansak, the first one i've ever eaten.  Recipe as per CBM's little india video but without the tikka  ::)

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/8105de0b9f2308ae65848caea7c60370.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#8105de0b9f2308ae65848caea7c60370.jpg)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: curryhell on July 21, 2013, 12:19 PM
A definite keeper of a recipe and a pleasant dhansak to follow  :P
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: h4ppy-chris on July 21, 2013, 05:05 PM
My Bangladeshi friend showed me this and I was impressed because a) it's tasty and quick and b) a biffa like me can cook it time and time again and it always turns out nice.

You'll need : to serve 4 as a generous side dish

200g red lentils washed under cold water in a sieve for at least a couple of minutes
half an onion chopped smallish
3 cloves garlic sliced
1/2  teaspoon Panch Phoron
5 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 bay leaf
1 + 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 teaspoon cumin powder
2 dry chillies
water
2 tablespoons of fresh coriander chopped fine

In a wok : heat the oil over a highish heat and add 2 chillies and bay leaf , fry for 30 seconds or so and add the Panch Phoron , fry until you hear the seeds cracking / popping and then add the onion and garlic , fry until you can see the edges of the garlic and onion have caught a bit ( don't stir too often ). Add lentils and fry stirring often for about 5 minutes ( you'll see the lentils turning yellow ), add turmeric , cumin and 1 teaspoon of the salt and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add enough water to cover the lentils with a layer of water around 1cm thick over them. Cook uncovered for 20ish minutes until you can see that the lentils are no longer round but are soft and hard to distinguish as lentils ( most of the water will have been absorbed by now ) add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt you have left and the chopped coriander and cook for a further minute or two.

It's that simple and cheap as .. well lentils

Well colin, tried this just now. I didn't have any dry chillies, so i used 2.5 Tsp of crushed dried chillies.
Being a lover of Dhal this is a winner for me. Added some pre-cooked chicken gona have it for tea with some rice.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/968835_146550258876466_2000852575_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1069263_146550225543136_1413525387_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Jeera on July 23, 2013, 09:02 PM
Made this tonight..I also added pre-cooked chicken ...outstanding recipe...many thanks for sharing Colin. Cheers.
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: urbanrajah on June 24, 2014, 12:19 PM
I made it to the recipe.So delicious and i added extra chilli.Thank you for sharing. :D
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: LouP on January 29, 2015, 02:49 PM
I just made this and it really is delicious. I am trying my hardest not to eat it all :/

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/ef064d6563eb407b17093e4221b85c9b.JPG) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#ef064d6563eb407b17093e4221b85c9b.JPG)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Edwin Catflap on January 29, 2015, 07:51 PM
That will be hard to resist Loup!
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: curryhell on February 01, 2015, 02:46 PM
I just made this and it really is delicious. I am trying my hardest not to eat it all :/

I know the feeling  :P  All ready to get tarka'd  ;D  If i can stop picking at it that is.  Excellent dhall recipe.

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/df77c26d239957228df5c84b3ad183dc.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#df77c26d239957228df5c84b3ad183dc.jpg)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: london on February 08, 2015, 04:30 PM
I've just made this to go with Tandoori chicken tonight and it's a winner, I'm not really a lentils person but this has changed my mind, the first taste was ok but then the after taste kicked in and I had to tear myself away from it to make sure I had enough for later.

Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Sverige on August 26, 2018, 08:00 AM
How important is the frying of the lentils in this recipe? In the OP the lentils are added to the oil/garlic/onion mix and fried for five mins until they turn a little yellow, then water is added.  Is this a common technique with lentils or an essential step in massur dhal recipes generally, as I haven't encountered it before?

My reason for asking - I tried this recipe yesterday and didn't get a great result. It was ok, but not great, and I suspect that during the 5 mins of frying the lentils, the garlic probably caught a bit too much. So I'm wondering about adding the powdered spices sooner then just boiling the lentils rather than frying.
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Edwin Catflap on August 28, 2018, 07:49 PM
I don’t think it’s essential as the spices are minimaljust need to simmer longer. Don’t skimp on the oil it will help cooking the garlic steadily
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Sverige on August 29, 2018, 07:44 AM
Ok thanks Edwin. I'll give it another try as everyone else seems to rate this recipe. The spices are minimal as you say; I was surprised how little were added to quite a lot of lentils.
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Naga on August 29, 2018, 09:04 AM
I made a batch of Colin's Massur Dhal a couple of days ago and some of used it in preparing tonight's dinner - CA's Chicken Dhansak (minus the pineapple chunks and juice).

First of all, it tastes great in it's own right, and is superb hot with a few poppadums on the side to scoop it up.

I've been using Abdul Mohed's Dhansak recipe up till now, but I have to say that I prefer CA's version of the dish, and it is made even better with Colin's Massur Dhal. The Mohed version calls for the lentils to be boiled with a little turmeric and then smashed, but I definitely prefer the texture and added flavour of Colin's Dhal.

The combination of both recipes make this dish a keeper for me and I'm looking forward to eating the second portion tomorrow night! :)

Hi, Sverige. You'll have seen this post from 2012, but I just thought I'd re-post it for newer members. I've used this recipe several times and can vouch for the frying of the lentils. I've never had a problem with the garlic burning (and I put in garlic well above and beyond the suggested amount!) - maybe I just fry at a lower temperature. I agree with EC about the oil. It's definitely worth another bash.
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Sverige on August 29, 2018, 04:21 PM
Thanks Naga, I will try it again and also try making a dhansak with part of the dhal. Cheers.
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: SoberRat on September 05, 2018, 10:51 PM
Hello, I decided to have a go at this recipe today. I made it exactly to spec apart from the bay leaf, I haven't got any Tej Patta so I used some cassia bark instead. I have to say it is delicious! Thanks for the post Colin. Here are some pictures of the dish along with the Chicken Dhansak made with the Dhal.

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/3f6e115dbbb0e93446fed4c572cbea72.jpg)
(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/09c510dc137687b9f85413a1441f7e7f.jpg)
(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/3c5cf393e9c55346715859a8013ab90a.jpg)

All the best

Rob
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: Naga on September 06, 2018, 11:51 AM
Looks great, SB! :)
Title: Re: Simple Massur Dhal
Post by: SoberRat on September 06, 2018, 12:55 PM
Looks great, SB! :)
Thanks Naga, never made this before but it added an extra layer of flavour to my Dhansak.

All the best,
Rob