Lazy Lentils ~ Masoor Dal with Garlic


this little chickadee was so intent on digging sunflower seed out of the snow…
he wouldn’t look up for love or money…


and when he finally did, he was facing the wrong way!


“lazy lentils” ~ masoor dal with garlic ~ served in a decorated Michigan pattern glass bowl by U.S. Glass, circa 1902

*begin bragging mom section*

It must be a January thing — this bragging mom stuff. Or maybe it’s dear Asha’s influence — see her joyous comment in a previous post!

My son made not only high honors, but a perfect 4.0 for his first term of junior year in college!! My daughter is in yet another winter play — and (hurrah!) finally deciding that going to college might be worthwhile after all — and studying for her junior year HS midterms *without* my harassing hand! πŸ˜‰

*end bragging mom section*

I had a recipe for lentil soup and it called for all the usual suspects:
lentils (the plain old green grocery store variety), onion, carrots, celery —
plus the interesting addition of garlic and tomatoes.

I didn’t have plain old green lentils, nor tomatoes nor celery, so I made the soup with masoor dal, onion, carrots, and plenty of garlic. And that is how I discovered, quite by accident, that the delicate masoor dal has a great affinity for heady garlic. The trick is to slice the garlic rather thickly.

You may know that the taste of garlic depends on how you cut it. Chopped fine, it is strongest. Larger dice, a little less pungent, and whole, it can be quite mellow.
I have found that slices provide the best savory garlic flavor without overpowering.

This happy little dal discovery has been a staple on many of these chilly winter evenings when I was too lazy to *cook*. As ISG pointed out, this has been the coldest spell in a long while — so this is on the stove again tonight.

Like many recipes, it sounds more complicated than it is. This almost cooks itself — hence the title “lazy” πŸ˜‰

Lazy Lentils
(masoor dal ‘lentil soup’ with plenty of garlic!)

1 small or 1/2 large red onion, diced fine
6 cloves garlic, sliced rather thickly
2 carrots, peeled and cut in medium dice


the real kitchen scene ~ no cleaning up for photos tonight

1 tsp oil or ghee (ghee is better)

3/4 c masoor dal, rinsed well
2 1/2 c water or vegetable broth
pinch turmeric
salt to taste


In a small sauce pan, heat ghee over medium-low and add onions and garlic. Cook until translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Do not brown.

Add carrots and stir well. Cover the pan and continue to cook over med-low heat another 5-10 minutes, until carrots are softening.

Add dal, turmeric and water. Stir well, cover, and simmer over low heat about 20 minutes, until dal begins to break up. Add more water if necessary, and cook another 10 minutes or so, until dal is soft.

Salt to taste, and mix it up well with your mathu or a wooden spoon.

Serve hot as a soup or over rice as a thin dal, and enjoy the garlicky-goodness on a cold winter night! πŸ™‚


simple pleasures on a cold evening ~ garlicky dal and old glass


  1. Asha said

    HAHAHAHAA!! Linda, bragging is every mom’s right!! We did good girl, don’t you think? We deserve some kind of award or something for getting thru’ all their stuff without our arteries clogged and brain frozen with all the stress they put thru’! ;P

    CONGRATULATIONS to your son, it’s not a small feat to get honors in college. Chapel Hill will let us know if Trish gets that too later, after we send them the second semester report card.

    Good luck to M, I am sure she will do well, or else sit on her! πŸ˜€

    Masoor dal looks yummy, easy to digest too. I have to make a Chettinad RCI too, don’t have any recipe so far, will see.

    I am sure T will do awesome, Asha!! Thanks for your good wishes. The girl child is studying as we speak, even though fighting a cold. We got a foot+ of snow today! That’s a stress-buster on a Sunday afternoon, watching snow fall. Also been reading up on Chettinad πŸ™‚

  2. indosungod said

    Congrats! to the kiddies on their achievment and a big pat on the back for the mom. Masoor dal is a heart warmer any time.

    Surely is ISG, and thanks! Been watching the birds today — had a carolina wren at my suet and the siskins still in town. Now am thinking what to do first with that mortar and pestle! πŸ˜‰

    Getting exciting down there for inauguration day I am sure — kids will have it on tv at school so they can at least witness history. Hope you had a great Sunday πŸ™‚

  3. indosungod said

    Forgot to add, the bowl is a beauty.

    So glad you liked! πŸ™‚

  4. sharmi said

    Congrats to the Kids Linda! After long time I am here. The birdie looks cute.

    I am moving to michigan, Auburn Hills. do you live anywhere nearby?
    I wanted some help in suggesting a good Apt in that place. if you are ok can you pls email me to

    Thanks and regards

    Hi Sharmi dear — so happy to see you here! I sent you an email πŸ™‚

  5. sra said

    Congrats to the kids!

    Thanks sra — so nice to see you! πŸ™‚

  6. mallugirl said

    Kids are definitely our pride and u have full bragging rights!!! Congrats to ur son and daughter.ur masoor dal is almost like a lentil soup i had blogged long time ago. HAppy new year to u too and glad that u tried my fish recipes and liked it.:))0

    Thanks S — I’m so happy to see you after a long time. Did you get alot of snow today too? Your fish recipes were such an inspiration — another time I will follow to the letter to get the most of all that spicy goodness πŸ˜‰

  7. Vani said

    Congratulations to you and the kids! SO nice to see they are doing so well. Belated wishes for a wonderful 2009, dear Linda! Love the ‘lazy lentils” soup. Sometimes simple is the best! πŸ™‚

    Completely agree, Vani — and thanks so much for visiting! I have missed you πŸ™‚ Thanks for your good wishes — and I wish you all the best for the new year, dear πŸ™‚

  8. Cynthia said

    That dhal looks so delicious and comforting.

    Thank you Cynthia — it’s comforting to hear from you dear! πŸ™‚

  9. Pritya said

    Hi Linda…what lovely pics of the chickadee…so beautiful!

    Thanks, and lovely to see you, P & J πŸ™‚

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