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Masoor Dahl with Garam Masala

Recipe by Chef Abraham Risho

“Masoor Dahl is a staple in Indian vegetarian cooking, traditionally made in conjunction with rice because lentils have an extremely high protein content. However, the protein in lentils is “incomplete” without the essential amino acids found in grains and rice. So, together, the rice and the lentils create a complete protein, nutritiously sustaining without the very expensive addition of meat. My variation here is more of a southern elevated style with the addition of coconut. I typically serve two or three different types of chutneys with it too, but the types of chutneys aren’t as important as the dish itself. My favorite addition to the meal is a nice garlic naan, making fun & casual finger food that’s delicious! " ~Chef Abraham Risho


  • 4C Onions, julienned

  • 1T XVOO

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 1 celery rib, diced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • ½t black peppercorns

  • 1oz fresh ginger, diced

  • 10C water


  • 1C canola oil

  • 2t black mustard seed

  • 2t crushed red pepper

  • 2t turmeric

  • 2 kaffir lime leaves


  • 2C red lentils

  • ½C coconut, shredded

  • 2t Garam Masala

  • ¼t cayenne pepper

  • 2t salt


  1. Combine onion and oil in heavy bottom pan, cook slow on low heat until well caramelized (very dark brown), taking possibly hours.

  2. Stir in remaining ingredients (not water), cook 5 minutes.

  3. Add small amount of water, scraping up all the bits from the bottom of the pan.

  4. Add remaining water, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, add lid.

  5. After one hour, strain out all solids and reduce by half.


  1. Combine all mustard oil ingredients in heavy pan, cook on medium-high heat until mustard seeds begin to sputter and burst.

  2. Remove from heat & allow to cool slowly.

  3. Strain solids from the oil.

  4. Keep covered at room temperature up to 30 days.


  1. In large bowl, run water to rinse lentils until water runs clear. Drain off all water.

  2. In heavy sauce pan add lentils & 4C onion stock.

  3. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer partially covered for 20-25 minutes, until lentils are barely soft.

  4. In a dry sauté pan on medium heat toast coconut until brown.

  5. In the lentil pan, add coconut, Garam Masala, cayenne, salt & additional stock (if needed) for soup-like consistency. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

  6. Spoon lentils over rice then drizzle with mustard oil. Serve with flatbread and several of your favorite chutneys

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