The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


October 18, 2012

Lentil, The Other Protein

Easy Dal Makhani with Salsa

What is lentil? Lentil is an edible bean or pulse. It's also a super food ingredient.

What does mean? It means that it has a lot of nutrients and is really good for you.

What kind of nutrients? It has one of the highest levels of protein besides soybean, and also contains fiber, folate, vitamin B1 and iron.

How many types are there? There are many varieties. So it's easy to keep on track, be healthy and adventurous with your palate.

How are lentils used in Indian cooking? In Indian cooking, lentils (specifically pulses) are more commonly used to prepare a dish called dal. Dal can be prepared with just lentils and spices alone or can be cooked with other vegetables as well (incl. leafy greens, tomatoes, gourds, etc). Once the dal is ready, it is served with rice, roti, or puris as part of a well balanced meal.

A popular lentil dish is Dal Makhani, which is made with Masoor dal (Brown skinned Dal). This dish is quite easy to make and can be eaten on its own or with your favorite bread. Take a look below for ingredients and recipe. 

- ½ cup Whole Masoor Dal
- 1 cup Salsa (Medium spice level)
- 1 small Onion, chopped finely
- 1 tsp Dhanjeera powder*
- ½ tsp Chili powder
- ¼ cup Evaporated Milk (12oz can)
- ½ tsp Salt or as needed
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil

Pressure cook the whole masoor dal with one cup of water until it becomes soft. In a medium saucepan, heat oil and saute the chopped onion until translucent. Then add dhanjeera and chili powder and mix well. Next add salsa and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the cooked masoor dal and salt into the saucepan and mix well. Allow the mixture to cook well with all the spices for about 5 minutes. Finally, add evaporated milk and stir until the cream is mixed in well and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. (Hint: use heavy cream for a more creamy taste.) Optional: Garnish the dal makhani with fresh coriander or cilantro and enjoy!!

- Dhanjeera powder is a ground blend of cumin and coriander seeds.
- Sour cream is a good substitution, if evaporated milk is not readily available.

Try our other lentil dishes as well: Chole, Indian Chili (Rajma), Khichdi, Chunky Chana and Potato Curry and Steamed Rice and Lentil Dumplings



  1. I love dal, Jahnavi. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Jahnavi4/24/2015

      That's great to hear Andrew, sorry responding a little late. Let us know if you try making it sometime. We'd appreciate your feedback.


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