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Toor dal is one of the most popular varieties of dal in India. It is made from toor dal, also known as yellow pigeon peas, that are cooked, broken down, and then seasoned with a blend of garam masala, coriander, fresh chilis for heat, and fried cumin seeds. It's a warm, comforting dish that is packed with protein and satisfying for any time of the year, but especially during cold winters.

Toor Dal With Cumin [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Cooking Time


What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Toor Dal With Cumin [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

  • 12.3 ounces toor dal (yellow pigeon peas)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 13.5-ounce can chopped tomato
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2­4 whole green chilis (depending on how spicy you want the dal to be), seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh chopped coriander leaves, to garnish (optional)

How To Make Toor Dal With Cumin [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

  1. Rinse the lentils with water few times until the water runs clear. Place the lentils in a pan with water, chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder on medium-high heat and bring to boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. When lentils are cooked through, turn off the heat and using a big spoon, break down the lentils as much as you can. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the cumin seeds for couple of seconds until fragrant. Now add onion, ginger, and chilis and fry for 4 minutes. Then add garlic, garam masala, and coriander and continue to cook for another 2 minutes adding few drops of water to release the spices from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the spice-onion mixture to cooked lentils and stir well. Turn on the heat, add more water if necessary to loosen the mixture. Bring the mixture to boil and season with salt and pepper to taste. At this stage, you can either serve it right away or cover the pan and let it simmer on low heat for another 20-30 minutes to allow all the flavors to come together.
  5. When ready to serve, garnish with coriander leaves and Serve hot with rice or flatbread.
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