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9-Ingredient Vegan Yellow Lentil Curry Indian Style | Easy Peasy Dal Recipe | Simple Tuvaram Paruppu Kulambu

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.

Cuisine Indian
Servings 5 people

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).

  7. Add the oil, and once it is hot add the mustard seeds.
  8. After they crackle, add the cumin seeds, red chillies and curry leaves.
  9. After a few seconds, add the onions and sauté until they are light pink and beginning to turn golden.
  10. 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.
  11. Give your yellow lentil curry a good stir and allow it to sit for 10 minutes with the lid on before you serve it.

  12. 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.

Notes

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.