Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Whole Green Lentils with Cilantro and Mint (Sabul Peeli Massoor)

Lentils are a staple in my house. They are budget-friendly, warming to the body and soul, and, provide a satisfying alternative to eating meat. This lentil dal recipe uses common green/brown lentils and adds flavor with fresh cilantro, mint and ground coriander and dried chiles. Simple and full of flavor.  

Jaffrey says, "For speed, I use a pressure cooker, although you could cook the lentils in any ordinary saucepan for 50 to 60 minutes. You would need to increase the water by 1 1/4 cups. If you can't get fresh mint, use more cilantro."

Whole Green Lentils with Cilantro and Mint (Sabul Peeli Massoor)
Madhur Jaffrey's uick & Easy Indian Cooking
(Serves 4)

3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (I used 1 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
pinch of ground asafetida (optional)
1-3 dried hot red chiles
1 small onion (4 oz), peeled and cut into fine half rings
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
1 cup whole green lentils
3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint.

Put the oil in a pressure cooker and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the cumin and mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop (this takes just a few seconds), put in the asafetida and the red chiles. Stir once. Put in the onion, garlic, and tomato. Stir for about 2 minutes or until the onion browns a bit. 

Now put in the lentils, 3 1/2 cups water, salt, ground coriander, cilantro, and mint. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat to high, and bring up to pressure. Turn the heat down to low and cook at full pressure for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and reduce the pressure with cool water poured onto the lid. 

Stir and serve.

Notes/Results: Good flavor and mild heat. The cilantro and mint add fresh herbal notes. This is pure, basic comfort food--especially when served with a good Indian bread like paratha. I have a pressure cooker but I just did these in a pot of the stove rather than dragging it out as I had a late lunch and wasn't in a hurry. I added the extra water as directed and put the mint and cilantro in towards the end. I would make this again.  

We are cooking Foods To Warm You Up over at I Heart Cooking Clubs. You can check out the snuggly dishes people made by following the post links. 



  1. I'm a huge fan of lentils also and am always looking for new ways to eat them. The spices in this sound fabulous!

  2. I keep trying to like lentils. I love the flavors in maybe :)

  3. One of these days I'm going to invest in a pressure cooker for recipes such as this. I love lentils too. There is definitely a comforting quality about them. These look perfectly spiced!

  4. I don't cook lentils nearly enough--don't know why since I always have them in the pantry. These look perfect for warming up.

  5. Glennis-Can't Believe We AteDecember 22, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    I'll remember this for one of the nights I try to do too much in the coming weeks!! Thanks for looks wonderful!

  6. I made this a few months ago on my blog before I knew about I heart cooking clun - but I used Indian whole green lentils instead of brown lentils. It was so delicious

  7. I love this recipe. I have Madhur Jaffrey's "Quick & Easy Indian Cooking" and all the recipes I have tried have been wonderful. Thanks for putting this on your blog, I was able to share it with two of my fellow cancer friends. I am trying to eat more legumes and veggies. This has been one of our go to recipes in the past, and now I will make it more with my new way of clean eating.

    Amy Czerniec

  8. Hi Amy,
    That's a great book. Madhur Jaffrey is one of my favorites. Glad you could share the recipe with your friends. All my best to all of you. Aloha! Deb


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