I just had to get in all those names there! The names may perhaps be a little too much to handle, but this 9-ingredient vegan yellow lentil curry will definitely be a breeze. This little bowl of sunshine (literally too, because see how yellow it is!) is designed to makes your tummy happy while keeping it simple.
Lentils or dal are a great source of protein including important amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Now that we’re done with the vital yet boring bit, let’s move on to more important things like the taste and texture of the simple tuvaram paruppu kulambu (it’s what we call it in Tamil). Once cooked, your yellow lentil curry will turn silken and smooth, and will taste creamy and rich, and it can get very very addictive. Not only will you end up making it every week, you’ll start craving it, like I do!
Everything about the easy peasy dal recipe will make you crave more: it’s nutritious, it’s silken and creamy, rich and indulgent, of course it’s vegan, but most important: it’s easy peasy. Forget curry powders (we Indians don’t use it), and masala powders (too many, I say!), and complicated methods — this dal recipe keeps it simple so the flavour of the lentil shines.
It makes for a great weekday meal, because it’s easy to make. While the lentils boil, you can prepare and measure the rest of ingredients, so you save time. You can also keep the rice to boil — since rice tastes best with 9-ingredient vegan lentil curry — so it’ll be ready by the time you’re done tempering the dal. Yes, chapatis or any other flat bread is good too! When you serve it hot with rice, don’t forget to first add a dash of ghee (a type of clarified butter) atop the rice before you our the yellow lentil curry. It enhances the flavour so! Oh, and the dal you get before you temper it makes for great and nutritious baby food too. Mash up some cooked rice and the yellow lentil curry without the tempering and add a dash of ghee, and feed that to your little one (6 months or older).
Usually rice and the simple tuvaram paruppu kulambu with a dash of ghee is enough to fill you tummy and please your senses. If you are going to make it a weekly affair — and I strongly feel you should — change the sides. We in India eat it with some pickle or a crisp (poppadom), and when we have the time, we quickly make a vegetable stir fry. Here are a few options for you to try: 3-ingredient fish fry South Indian style, chicken pepper fry, Indian-style potato and cauliflower, 5-ingredient Indian style roast potatoes, or these crispy split chickpea fritters.
You can make the easy peasy dal recipe with either toor dal (pigeon pea) or split mung beans (split green gram), or you could mix them (half and half — it’s how I make it usually). The taste varies marginally with each of the three combinations, and you can keep rotating the combinations to keep things fresh. Don’t forget to let me know how it turns out! Comment below, or use the hashtag #notjustspice on Insta or holler using @notjustspice on Facebook.
Everything about the 9-ingredient vegan lentil curry Indian style will make you crave more of it: it’s nutritious, it’s silken and creamy, rich and indulgent, of course it’s vegan, but most important: it’s easy peasy.
- 1 cup pigeon pea or split mung beans
- 7-8 garlic cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 medium red onion
- 6 medium dry red chillies
- 15 curry leaves optional
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons sesame oil or groundnut oil
Wash the lentils thrice. You’ll see that they instantly swell with water, just like rice. You could soak them for a bit or start straight away.
Transfer the beans into a heavy bottomed pot, or a pressure cooker, and add enough water to cover the lentils with about an inch of water. Two cups of water should do, but it depends on the size of your vessel and cook time.
Turn on the heat to medium. While it gets hot, peel your garlic and put them in. Add the turmeric powder, and half the salt too.
Let it cook with a lid on top until you can smash the lentil between your forefinger and thumb with ease. In fact you should be able to tell when you are able to smash it against the vessel with the spoon. In a pressure cooker, it should take about 10 minutes.
While it cooks, prepare the rest of the ingredients: chop the red onion (you should have a heaped half cup), and break the red chillies in two and tap them on your counter to deseed them.
When the dal is done, take it off the heat and place a small frying pan or kadai or wok in its place. Check to see if the dal has enough water — look for the consistency of a pancake batter. If it doesn’t have enough of water, you can add more, right after you temper the dal (you’ll see how).
Add the oil, and once it is hot add the mustard seeds.
After they crackle, add the cumin seeds, red chillies and curry leaves.
After a few seconds, add the onions and sauté until they are light pink and beginning to turn golden.
Add the remaining salt (you can add more or less) and without turning off the heat, lift the kadai off the heat and transfer the contents into the vessel containing the dal. Bring it back on the heat and add a little more water (little if you have enough water in the dal, or more if it is thick) and bring it to a boil. Now turn off the heat and add to to your lentil curry.
Give your yellow lentil curry a good stir and allow it to sit for 10 minutes with the lid on before you serve it.
Serving: Serve it hot with rice. Pour a generous helping of the yellow lentil curry over the rice. A dash of ghee (a type of clarified butter) over the rice, enhances the flavour. You can also serve it with chapatis or any other flatbread.
While the lentils boil, you can prepare and measure the rest of ingredients, so you save time. You can also keep the rice to boil — since rice tastes best with 9-ingredient vegan lentil curry Indian style — so it’ll be ready by the time you’re done tempering the dal. You can make the easy peasy dal recipe with either toor dal (pigeon pea) or split mung beans (split green gram), or you could mix them (half and half — it’s how I make it usually). The taste varies marginally with each of the three combinations, and you can keep rotating the combinations to keep things fresh.
Pigeon Pea (Wikipedia)
Mung Bean (Wikipedia)
INDIAN DALS NAMES (VEGAN RICHA)