This is a wonderful and fast meal for all ages. My son started enjoying these spices very soon after he started solid foods at six months. If you’re serving a baby, just reserve a portion of the dal before seasoning the rest to taste with salt, or simply let everyone season their own portion at the table.
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tomato, diced
1 cup dried red lentils
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Cilantro, for garnish
Heat oil in a saucepot over medium high heat. Add garam masala and stir quickly for 30 seconds.
When the spices are fragrant (don’t let them burn!), add onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the onions are translucent, then add the garlic and ginger, stirring frequently to keep them from burning.
Add the tomato, dried lentils, bay leaf, turmeric, cumin, 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, place lid slightly ajar, and simmer 15 minutes or until the lentils are very soft.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Finish with cilantro, and serve over rice or grilled flatbread.
You can season the dal at the end with a vegetable bouillon cube in lieu of salt. Avoid bouillon containing monosodium glutamate.