Lentil Dal Recipe

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This lentil dal recipe is an adventure in simple, Indian spices!

A while back, I read a book called, Ginger And Ganesh. If you love to read, it’s an absolutely fabulous book about a woman who pays different people to teach her how to cook authentic Indian food. She shares recipes as well as cleverly told stories about the people who taught her. It was an inspiring book for me and I have loved experimenting with Indian spices ever since.

Clean Eating Brown Lentil Dal Recipe

Not long after reading that, I had an assignment due in culinary school where I had to take a recipe that was based on Arabian cuisine, and turn it into an Indian dish.

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.

Clean Eating Brown Lentil Dal Recipe

ABOUT LENTILS:

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.
Clean Eating Brown Lentil Dal Recipe

Lentil Dal Ingredients

1 ½ cups brown lentils – These are the standard lentils the most grocery stores carry. It’s always best to rinse these and check for small rock/pebbles/clumps of dirt before cooking with them.

2 ½ cups vegetable broth – Make sure there is no added sugar. Low sodium is best.

2 tbsp. coconut oil – You can use any oil you have handy, but coconut oil flavors pair well with this dish.

3 medium garlic cloves – Mince these well.

½ tsp. ground black pepper – You can use white pepper too, if that’s what you have handy. But black pepper is a better flavor here.

2 cups chopped, yellow onion – In a pinch, you can also use purple onions or white onions.

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground turmeric

2 tsp. curry powder

2 tsp. garam masala – This can be found in the spice aisle or at an Indian food store.

28 oz. can diced tomatoes – Don’t use fire roasted. These should be plain tomatoes with no sugar added.

½ cup fresh, chopped cilantro (for garnish) – This is optional, but delicious.

How To Make Lentil Dal

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.

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LENTIL DAL RECIPE:

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Clean Eating Brown Lentil Dal Recipe

Lentil Dal Recipe

A delicious lentil recipe best served over flavored rice.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 cups
Calories: 260kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups brown lentils
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • ½ 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
  • ½ cup fresh, chopped cilantro (for garnish)

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 401mg | Potassium: 618mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 5.7mg

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6 Comments

  1. Hi! How much diced tomatoes do we add? I do not see it listed on the ingredients.
    I cant wait to make this!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Suzi – Sorry about that! All fixed!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is a amazing!!! So flavorful and filling. THANK YOU!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Mary – Yay!!! I’m so happy you enjoyed it! 😀 It’s definitely on my weekly rotation this winter!

  3. Jennifer Maron says:

    5 stars
    Wow this turned out great. Just a little bit of spice. Tastes great.

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