Lentil Dal



  • 2 tbsp. 

    vegetable oil, divided

  • 1 

    small yellow onion, diced

  • 3 

    cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tsp. 

    freshly minced ginger 

  • 2 

    green chilis, one diced and one sliced in rounds, divided 

  • 3 tsp. 

    cumin seeds, divided

  • 1 tsp. 


  • 1 tsp. 


  • 1 tsp. 


  • 1/2 tsp. 


  • 1 c. 

    red lentils

  • 1 

    (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes

  • 4 c. 

    low-sodium vegetable broth

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper 

  • Yogurt, for serving 

How to:

  1. In a medium pot over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and diced chili. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and spices and stir to coat vegetables and to toast seeds, another minute. Add in lentils and toss to coat well, then add tomatoes and broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 20 minutes, or until lentils are soft and broken down. 

  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds and cook until darkened and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sliced chili and cook 1 minute more. Pour into a small heatproof bowl, scraping out all the seeds and oil, and let cool while lentils continue to cook. 

  3. Spoon dal into a bowl and top with yogurt and a drizzle of the fried cumin seed mixture.

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