This lentil dal recipe is an adventure in simple, Indian spices!
I remember well the first time I had Indian food. It was at a local Indian restaurant with my then-husband. I was about 33 years old. (How time flies!) I was scared of the spiciness of the food, so he had me start with butter chicken. Oh how my taste buds came to life!
Since then, I’ve have often dived head first into making Indian-inspired dishes at home and now have a rather extensive collection of Indian spices to boot. (Thanks to my local Indian food shop! The spices are so much cheaper there!!)
So when I started on this last single-recipe assignment from my culinary program, I was quite happy to switch the cuisine as instructed from the original Arabian recipe into an Indian version. Many of the spices were similar, but with a different focus and outcome. So I happily switched a few minor ingredients and eded up with this big pot of deliciousness!
If you love lentils like I do, you simply must give this a try. Lentils are comfort food to me. I few up with them, and they are the one pulse I will never give up.
I had to do some research for my class on the history of my chosen cuisine and ingredients. This is what I found out about lentils. They have quite the interesting history!
- 50% of all world-wide lentil crops are used in India.
- While the history of lentils is a bit obscure, many seem to believe that they were first used in Egypt during the time of the pharaohs.
- In some parts of the world, they are looked down upon as “poor people food”. <gasp!>
- While they are eaten around the world, a good majority of the world-wide lentil supply comes from the pacific northwest here in the USA!
- While there are hundreds of varieties of lentils, only around 50 of them are actually edible.
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MORE HEALTHY LENTIL RECIPES:
LENTIL DAL RECIPE:
Lentil Dal Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 3 medium garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped, yellow onion
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 2 tsp. garam masala
- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh, chopped cilantro (for garnish)
- Set the lentils and broth to boil in a pot. Once the broth reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered until all the liquid has cooked out.
- In a skillet, heat the oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and ground black pepper to the oil and sauté for about 1 minute. You want the garlic to brown slightly.
- Add the onions and continue to stir as it cooks.
- Once the onions become a bit translucent, add in the cumin, turmeric, curry and garam masala. Stir well.
- At this point, the pan should be pretty dry. That's a good thing. Do NOT add more oil. Keep "dry frying" your spices and onions for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Now add in the diced tomatoes and cook for about another 5 - 10 minutes. Just enough to let the spices really infuse into the tomatoes.
- When the lentils are finished, add the spice mixture to the lentil pot and stir well. If the mixture is too dry, add a little water as needed
- Serve over brown rice or cauliflower rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.