A cozy lentil soup for a rainy day

Moong dal tadka with basmati rice

A few weeks back I went to the local bio store (kind of like a German version of whole foods) because they have a pretty great selection of dried beans and lentils. I saw some split mung beans and figured I'd find something tasty to make with them. So tonight is the night where I make something tasty with them.

The recipe for the dal tadka comes from Dassana and Amit's website, Veg recipes of India. Originally, it calls for tomatoes and a pressure cooker - neither of which I had so the recipe is an adaptation to that need. I replaced the tomato with the red bell pepper for the sweetness, and the tamarind concentrate for the tanginess - both were ingredients I had on hand and therefore I replaced like this. If you have tomatoes, and a pressure cooker, I'd urge you to follow their recipe instead.

Serves 4



1/2 cup moong dal

1 medium sized onion, finely diced

1 red bell pepper, small dice

1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate

1/2" fresh ginger, minced

1/4 tsp red chili powder

1/3 tsp turmeric powder

3 cups water



2 tbsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 fresh red chili, roughly cut

5 small garlic cloves, smashed

1/2 tsp garam masala powder

1/4 tsp red chili powder

1 pinch asafoetida


3/4 cup white basmati rice



Place all the dal ingredients together in a pot on medium-low heat. Cook until the moong dal are soft and fall apart, around 30 minutes.


Get the rice started and cook according to the package instructions. I use a rice cooker which makes all this a cinch.


For the tempering, heat a small skillet on medium heat. Once the ghee is warmed up, add the cumin seeds and let pop a little. Add the fresh red chili and garlic and cook for a minute more. Take off the heat and add the garam masala, chili powder, and asafoetida. Let it heat through for a minute or so. Taste and season with salt as needed.


Add the tempered spices to the dal mixture and stir in well.


Plate a scoop of the rice into a bowl and serve with the dal alongside.


Bell pepperJuly

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