Mar 04

Easy Version of Indian Tomato Lentil or Surati Dal

Color Me Delicious.

Color Me Delicious.

Unless I specifically seek out ingredients for a recipe, and even then only if I actually find them, can I follow a recipe verbatim.
So yeah, that pretty much never happens.

This is an example of that, based on a wonderful dish from the city of Surati, in the Gujarati State of India located on the Western coast called Gujarati Surati Dal. Dal refers to lentils basically. Here's the original recipe.

You can use whatever lentils you have on hand. Because we eat lentils a lot, we have brown, pink, and yellow, as well as split peas and mung beans. What can I say. 😉 Here's a link to some of the differences between them.

I went with the pink, aka Lal Masoor Dal or Lentejas Rojas en Espanol. Note the turmeric turned them yellow anyway.

Feel free to improvise, I did.


1 cup dal of choice
2-3 cups water, depending on the lentils
1 cup salsa, homemade if possible
2 tsp. chopped green chili, canned
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. Garam Masala
1/4 tsp. curry powder
2 Tbs. chopped almonds
1/2 Tbs. almond butter (because it was almost empty)
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
S and P if desired

I used my pressure cooker and just timed it for 18 minutes. You can precook the lentils and add the remaining ingredients, or just throw it all in a skillet and let simmer. Your call.

We used our medium salsa, and the results was a very mild taste. Add heat as desired in the form of a hotter salsa, sriracha sauce, chili powder, etc.

Can be used as a vegetarian main dish or add meat if desired. Also makes a great side or even a dip if cooked until thick.

Serve with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with chopped nuts, a fresh chili pepper, and/or lemon wedge.
In the picture is an Indian Puppodum, a cracker if you will.

I wish now I had picked up some mango chutney to go along with it when I was at the market; I've run out of that as well.

Oh well, next trip.

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