Monday, January 30, 2012

Meatless Monday: Red Lentil Dal

We had some leftover red lentils in the pantry that I thought we should try to use up.  I think we had originally bought them for a supper club dish, because I know I wouldn't have them around otherwise!  I had this notion that I didn't like them, however, I LOVE Indian food so I decided to try this recipe.  It was definitely easy and fairly quick to make. I think it lacked a little in flavor though and we added a lot of jalapeno to our bowls!  The kids weren't big fans. I also tried to make naan, which of course used yeast, so it turned out horribly! (I do not have a good track record with the stuff!).  My husband tried to salvage it and he at least made it edible.  It was great to have with the dal to help scoop it up.  The best thing about this meal was that I discovered that I do like lentils!  They are a great source of protein and fiber and were selected by Health magazine as one of the five healthiest foods.  I will definitely be cooking more with them and hopefully find some tastier recipes.

Red Lentil Dal
Bon Appetit, March 1999

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups water
1 cup dried red lentils
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup basmati rice, cooked according to package directions
2 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño chili, seeded, chopped

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup onion and 1 minced garlic clove and sauté until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Combine 3 cups water, lentils, remaining 1 cup onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, turmeric, cumin and ginger in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer half of lentil mixture to processor; purée until smooth. Return purée to same saucepan. Mix in sautéed onion mixture. Simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon rice into bowls. Spoon dal over. Top with tomatoes, cilantro and chili.

Family Rating: 1 thumb up.


  1. My family loves dal! We like to add some grated carrot. Here are some more of our favorite lentil recipes:
    Apricot Lentil Soup
    Lentil Rice with 3 flavor variations
    Honey Baked Lentils

  2. Thanks 'Becca! I actually just bookmarked a recipe I found on allrecipes for Honey Baked Lentils, but the recipe you linked looks really good! Thanks so much for the suggestions! I will be trying them out soon!

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your nan, but your red lentil dal looks delicious! Thank you for sharing this healthy meatless meal with the Hearth and Soul hop.