1. Masoor Dal – 1 cup
2. Onion – 1 large
3. Tomato – 2 medium
4. Ginger paste – 1 tsp
5. Green chillies – 2 medium
6. Oil / Clarified butter (Ghee) – 2 tbsp
7. Cumin seeds (Jeera) – 1 tsp
8. Asafoetida (Hing) – 1 tsp
9. Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
10. Turmeric powder (Haldi)- 1/2 tsp
11. Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
12.Sugar – a pinch
13. Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri methi) – 1 tbsp
14. Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
Wash the lentil well under running water. Once clean, soak the dal in sufficient water reaching about 1 inch above the dal. Soak for at least 4-6 hours. The lentil will soak up the water and double in size.
When the dal is ready to be cooked, drain all the water used for soaking and put the lentil in the pressure cooker. Add about 2 cups of water – the water level should again be about half an inch above the dal. Also add turmeric powder (haldi) and salt. Close the pressure cooker and cook for 2-3 whistles. Then lower the heat and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, finely chop the onion, tomatoes and green chillies.
After 10 minutes of cooking the dal close the heat and allow to steam to settle. Then open the pressure cooker.
Now take a clean pan and add the oil or clarified butter (ghee). Allow the oil to heat up well.
To the hot oil, add cumin seeds (jeera) and let them splutter for a few seconds. Lower the heat and add asafoetida (hing).
Now add the onions. Fry the onions on medium heat, stirring often. Add a pinch of salt to help cook the onions faster. Add a few splashes of water in between to evenly brown the onions.
Add the ginger paste and green chillies and mix well. Fry for another minute.
Now add the chopped tomatoes. Along with it, add the masalas – red chilli powder, garam masala powder and a pinch of sugar. Mix well and then cover the pan. Cook the tomatoes until the oil starts to separate. Stir often in between to prevent the tomato masala from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Once the tomato onion masala is well cooked, add the boiled dal to the saucepan. Add more water according to the consistency of dal you like. Mix the dal well with the prepared masala. Let the dal boil on low heat for about 3-5 minutes. Keep stirring often.
Meanwhile, take another pan and start to heat it up. Spread dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) in the pan. Dry roast for a few seconds. Then remove the pan from heat and let it cool. Stir gently after removing the pan from heat as the hot pan will continue to roast the leaves, which might burn. Once a little cool, crush the roasted leaves with your hands. Add the crushed roasted fenugreek leaves to the boiling dal and mix well.
Check the seasoning and garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.
Serve the masala masoor dal with lachcha parathas.