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Masoor Dal with Curry Leaves and Coconut Milk

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  • 2 cups whole masoor dal (or green lentils)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 medium Onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup tomatoes (i used canned)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 14 oz coconut milk (full fat)

Tadka (for tempering)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 medium Onion (finely chopped)
  • 30 fresh curry leaves (dried is okay too)



  1. In a large dutch oven or pot, combine the lentils, coarsely chopped onion, tomatoes, cayenne, ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, and salt. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils begin to soften.


  1. In a small skillet on medium heat, add olive oil. Once shimmering, add the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds.
  2. As soon as the seeds begin to sputter, add the chopped onion and the curry leaves and saute for about 1-2 minutes, Stir constantly to prevent the leaves from burning.
  3. Add the Tadka to the lentils. Also stir in the coconut milk. Cook for 10-15 minutes until heated through. Add salt to taste if needed and serve with basmati rice!

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