This dal makes a wonderfully flavored lunch or dinner. The bitter gourd keeps true to its name. It is quite bitter, but it is a perfect pairing with this delicious dal. With every mouthful, you get that ever-so-slightly-bitter taste, which is a delightful surprise.
Masoor Dal with Bitter Gourd Chips [Vegan]
Bitter Gourd Chips
- 2 cups thinly sliced bitter gourd (use frozen if you can’t find fresh)
- 2 tablespoons rice flour
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2–4 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 green chilies, sliced lengthwise
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup red lentils (split masoor dal), rinsed
- 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 medium onion, sliced thin
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
For the Bitter Gourd:
- For the bitter gourd chips, toss the bitter gourd slices with the rice flour, turmeric, cumin and salt.
- Leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. The salt will help release the moisture from the bitter gourd.
For the Dal:
- To make the dal, heat the oil on high heat in a deep pan. Once hot, add the onion and cook until it is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic and the chilies and then cook for a few minutes or until the raw smell of the garlic has gone.
- Add the tomatoes and stir while cooking for 3 to 4 minutes until the tomatoes are somewhat mushy. Add the rinsed lentils and stir around for just a few seconds to mix everything together.
- Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Once the bitter gourd has rested, heat the oil in a shallow nonstick pan on high heat.
- Get the bitter gourd slices ready by brushing off any excess flour and placing them in the pan. Make sure you don’t overlap the slices. Give the slices 2 to 3 minutes on each side on high heat. Bitter gourd needs a lot of oil so you may have to replenish the oil in the pan as the slices cook.
- Turn the slices over once they turn a dark brown color.
- Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.
For the Tempering
- Prepare the tempering by heating the oil on high heat. Once hot, add the cumin.
- When the cumin starts to sputter, after a few seconds, quickly add the onion and garlic.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion begins to brown at the edges.
- Add the red chili powder and stir continuously while the onion browns further, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- To serve, mix the bitter gourd chips into the dal, reserving some for garnish.
- Top with the tempering. Garnish with some more bitter gourd chips, cilantro and sliced cucumber on the side.
This dal goes very well with just plain basmati rice.