Nimbu Dal – Lemon Lentils

Nimbu Dhal

Dal – chawal is my comfort food and I look forward to cold winter nights to eat a bowl of steaming hot rice and lentils with some desi ghee in it. For the third and last day of cooking with lemons, I chose this classic tangy dal. I made this dal with masoor dal (orange lentils), just because I love the flavor of the dal. You could also use moong dal or tuvar dal for the same recipe or a mix of dals.

We had this for dinner along with some phulkas and pumpkin subzi (recipe coming soon). I made the dal a bit on the runny side to allow us to sip it as soup. I have used onions in the recipe, but if preferred the onions could be skipped.

Nimbu Dhal 1

Preparation time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 30 minutes
Difficulty level – easy

Ingredients – (serves 4)

  • Masoor dal (orange lentils) – ¾ cup
  • Onion – 1 medium (chopped finely)
  • Tomatoes – 3 (chopped finely)
  • Green chilies – 2
  • Ginger – 1 tsp (finely grated)
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon – ½ inch piece
  • Ghee or oil – 1 tbsp
  • Lemon juice – from 1 lemon or about 3-4 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Cilantro – for garnish
Nimbu Dhal 2

Procedure –

  • Wash the lentils couple of times and then cook it in enough water with a pinch of turmeric powder until soft. I usually cook the masoor dal on stove top, but if preferred you could cook it in pressure cooker.
Nimbu Dhal Prep
  • In a pan, heat the ghee or oil or a combination of both and then add the cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add the cinnamon stick and fry for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the onions and sauté until golden brown. Then add the grated ginger and green chilies and fry for a minute more.
Nimbu Dhal Prep 1
  • Next goes in the chopped tomatoes along with salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder.
  • Fry until the tomatoes are mushy.
Nimbu Dhal Prep 3
  • Now add the cooked dal along with some water (if needed) and let the mixture boil for about 8 – 10 minutes in medium heat.
  • Add the cilantro and let it boil for a minute. Remove from flame and add the lemon juice. Mix well and serve it steaming hot.
Nimbu Dhal Prep 4

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