Thursday, May 21, 2015


I am always interested in experiencing the food of different cultures and countries, so when I saw this recipe, I had to try it.  I am always intrigued when I see ingredients like cilantro, cayenne pepper, garlic, chili peppers used in recipes from Asia.
This recipe is by noted Indian food expert, Madhur Jaffrey.  It was published by  I do not have a photo, shame on me :-).  None the less, I hope your will try it.  It is really good.  As usual I will have some notes at the end.

Khatti Dal Lentil Stew (Hyderabadi Style Lentil Stew)
1 cup toor dal (yellow pigeon peas), rinsed, soaked 30 minutes, and drained
14 tsp. ground turmeric
3 tbsp. chopped cilantro
14 tsp. red chile powder, such as cayenne
12 fresh or frozen curry leaves
7 cloves garlic (1 mashed into a paste, 6 peeled)
2 plum tomatoes, peeled and minced
2 small green Thai chiles, or 1 serrano, thinly sliced
(1) 12" piece ginger, peeled and grated
Kosher salt, to taste
3 tbsp. canola oil
12 tsp. cumin seeds
14 tsp. brown mustard seeds
3 chiles de árbol
Bring dal and 8 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan. Reduce heat to medium; stir in turmeric and cook until dal is mushy, about 45 minutes.
Stir in cilantro, tamarind paste, chile powder, curry leaves, garlic paste, tomatoes, sliced chiles, ginger, and salt; boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
Heat oil in an 8" skillet over medium-high. Cook cumin and mustard seeds until they pop, 1–2 minutes. Add peeled garlic and the chiles de árbol; cook until garlic is golden, 6–8 minutes, and stir into stew.

I had most of the ingredients on hand which was helpful.
I could not find Toor Dal in the store so I substituted Chana Dal.  Chana Dal is not as wide and flat as Toor Dal, it is rounder. It worked just fine.
I did not have curry leaves, so I used some frozen kaffir lime leaves that I had.
When I made the dish, I did not find Thai chilis in the store (even though they usually have them) so I used serrano pepper as noted in the recipe.  Remember you can always add more pepper so, depending on heat tolerance add some, cook, taste and adjust.  The serrano pepper I bought was both real big and real hot.  I used about 1/2 of it.
Mustard seed:  I used regular yellow mustard seeds, which are milder than the brown ones.

Overall, I like this dish. It is complex, easy to make and the ingredients are mostly easy to find.
If you try it, please let me know what you think.

I hope you enjoy.
Until next time:
Bon Appetit Y'all
Chef Leslie Bartosh


  1. Aaawww, I wish there was a picture. I LOVE lentils, and I love dal with roti :)

    1. I guess I will just have to make it again and take a photo! Thanks for your comment.