VIDEO! At Home with Susan Feniger: Vegan Masoor Dal

Hey guys! What, with me moving across the world and throwing LA Vegan Beer Fest and everything, I feel like it’s been ages since I posted a Quarrygirl Presents video! Well, the wait is over. Welcome to our new series At Home With Susan Feniger, where we head to the house of one of LA’s most beloved chefs to see what she makes for breakfast. Susan is the driving force behind popular restaurants such as Border Grill, Ciudad, and of course Qurarrygirl favorite Susan Feniger’s STREET. While she isn’t a vegetarian or vegan, Susan tends to cook an eclectic vegan menu at home, much of which is inspired by her travels around Asia. In this series we explore extremely quick and easy animal-free recipes in the intimacy of Susan’s kitchen. 

First up: Masoor Dal! Watch the video above and follow along with the recipe below, and be sure to stay tuned for more vids!

Makes 7 cups


2 ounces vegan butter or olive oil

2 cups diced white onion 

Sweet potato (optional)

1 Tablespoon Mustard Seeds

1 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds 

1 Tablespoon Turmeric

Neem Leaves aka Curry Leaves (optional)

2 - 7 cups water, depending on desired thickness 

1 pound masoor dal (2 1/2 cups)

1 1/4 Tablespoons kosher salt


Heat the vegan butter or oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepot over medium-high heat.

Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until caramelized a rich golden brown.

Reduce the heat slightly to medium. Add the sweet potato and season with salt. Then add the dried spices: mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, neem leaves.  Cook a few minutes (while stirring) until all the aromas of the spices are released.

Add the dal and stir to toast with the spices for 1 minute before adding the water or vegetable stock. Stir again & season with salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until the dal is completely soft and cooked through and has taken on the flavor of the spices. 

Stir occasionally so that the dal does not settle to the bottom of the pot and burn.

Remove from heat and serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator when cooled, until ready to use.

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