Lentils are one of those super versatile legumes that everyone should be eating more of, me included. They are great for making vegetarian "burgers", delicious as a side for poultry and are easy-peasy to add to soups and stews (like this Greek Lentil Soup). I was itching for something really fragrant and spiced so I found this easy recipe for Dal and made it over the weekend. I made some adjustments to make it a bit less spicy, and switched out coconut oil for the butter it called for.
Green or Brown Lentil Dal
Yield: 8 to 12 servings
Time: About 1 hour
- 1 pound dried green or brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 1 pound fresh Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 a medium fresh jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, thick stems discarded
- Salt and black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
1. Put the lentils, half the tomatoes, and the jalapeño, garlic, coriander, and turmeric in a large pot; add enough water to cover by 1½ inches. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.
2. Continue cooking the lentils while you put the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the oil melts, add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, and cloves, and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
3. When the lentils are fully tender, partially purée them with an immersion blender. Stir the onion mixture into the lentils along with the remaining tomatoes and the cilantro. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve hot or warm over rice, if desired.