Lemon Dal

Serves 6 to 8


1 1/2 cups pink lentils (also known as Turkish lentils)

4 1/2 to 5 cups hot water

1 small yellow onion, diced small

4 cloves garlic, sliced in thin rounds

1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 or 3 serrano chiles, sliced in thin rounds

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon milk

For the tadka:

1 1/2 tablespoons ghee

1 heaping teaspoon brown mustard seeds

6 or 7 fresh kari (curry) leaves (see Recipe Notes)


1. Before prepping the ingredients, turn the slow cooker on to the high setting for 15 minutes, until the insert is warmed through.

2. Pick over the lentils for any foreign objects. Wash the lentils in a bowl in several changes of water until the last wash runs almost clear. Place the lentils, along with the water, onion, garlic, ginger, chiles, and salt, in the cooker. Stir well and set to cook on high for 2 1/2 hours. When the lentils are cooked, they will be pale yellow in color. Add the lemon juice, stir, and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon juice if preferred. Add the milk and stir.

3. To make the tadka, heat the ghee in a small saucepan or skillet, with a lid handy. Tilt the pan to form a pool, add the mustard seeds and kari leaves, and cover immediately.

4. Once the seeds have finished sputtering, add the tadka to the lentils, stir, and serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Because of their distinct flavor, curry leaves don’t have a direct substitution. If you can’t find curry leaves at a local Indian grocery store, it’s possible to purchase curry leaves online or sometimes from your local Indian restaurant. If you can’t find curry leaves, leave them out of the recipe.