This Indian Masala dal recipe, or garlicky spiced lentils, is so quick and easy to make and will please vegetarians too. This masala dal has a rich spicy flavour and is a good source of protein and fibre. This tasty masala dal dish goes just as well with hot chapattis or naan bread as it does with plain boiled rice. Masala Dal is healthy, plain or spicy. But, this is one excellent dal you just cannot resist! Comprising of four key varieties of pulses, cooked with onions and tomatoes, and perked up with a range of carefully chosen spices, masala dal is just the thing to have with hot rice and rotis.
Cayenne Pepper – also known as the Guinea spice, Cow-Horn pepper, Aleva, Bird Pepper, or, especially in its powdered form, Red Pepper, is a cultivar of Capsicum Annuum related to Bell Peppers, Jalapenos, Paprika and others.
Cardamom – or Cardamon refers to several plants of the similar genera Elettaria and Amomum in the ginger family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to India, Nepal, and Bhutan. They are recognised by their small seed pods , triangular in cross section and spindle shaped, with a thin, papery, outer shell and small black seeds. Guatemala is the biggest producer and exporter of cardamom in the world, followed by India. It is the world’s third most expensive spice by weight, outstripped in market value only by saffron and vanilla. Cardamom is a spice that has an outstanding taste and is known to enhance the flavour of any dishes you prepare. Cardamom chicken curry is thus, an excellent, mouth watering dish with flavours that will remain with you far longer than you will have imagined.
Chilli Powder – is the dried, pulverized fruit of one or more varieties of Chilli Pepper, sometimes with the addition of other spices. It is used to add pungency or piquancy and flavour to dishes.
Cinnamon – is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods.
Cloves – Are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium Aromaticum. They are native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, and are common used as a spice.
Coriander – also known as cilantro, Chinese parsley or Dhania, is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander is native to regions spanning from Southern Europe and North Africa to Southwestern Asia. It is a soft plant growing to 50cm tall.
Cumin – Cumin also known as Jeera, is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the East Mediterranean to India. Its seeds are used in the cuisines of many different cultures, in both whole and ground form.
Curry Leaves – are the shiny, dark green, aromatic leaves of a tree from the citrus family that release a deliciously nutty aroma when fried in hot oil. A staple of South Indian cooking, curry leaves are used in Indian and South East Asian cuisine in the same way that Bay Leaves are used in the West.
Fennel – is a flowering plant species in the celery family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae. It is the sole species in the genus Foeniculum. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves.
Garam Masala – An aromatic mixture of ground spices used as a base in many Indian dishes (‘masala’ means spice). The proportion of spices changes according to the dish being cooked (and the cook!), but typical ingredients are cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper, with substitutions or additions made depending on whether the dish includes meat, vegetables or fish.
Tamarind – is a leguminous tree in the family Fabaceae indigenous to tropical Africa. The genus Tamarindus is a monotypic taxon, having only a single species.
Turmeric – is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native in South East India, and needs temperatures between 20 Celcius and 30 Celcius and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive.
Star Anise – Ilicium verum, commonly known as Star Anise , Start Aniseed, or Chinese Star Anise is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavour, obtained from the start shaped pericarp of illicium verum, a medium sized evergreen tree of North East Vietnam and South West China.