Dal or dahl is the Indian term for lentils, and in cooking refers to any of the many Indian dishes made with lentils. There are many variations ranging from simple to complex. This recipe is on the easy side. Red lentil dal
Yield 2 cups
Time 40 minutes
  • colander
  • large saucepan
  • wooden spoon
  • small saucepan
  • 1 c red lentils (masoor dal) or brown lentils
  • 3 T ghee, clarified butter, or oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 chile, seeded and chopped
  • 3 c water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ t turmeric
  • 2 c unsweetened coconut milk
  • salt
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 dried red chile, crumbled OR ¼ t red pepper flakes
  • 1 t mustard seeds
Directions Wash the lentils thoroughly and drain well.

Heat 2 T ghee over medium-high heat, then sauté onion, garlic, and chile for 1 minute. Add lentils, water, bay leaves, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.

Remove the cream from the top of the coconut milk and reserve for some other use. Add the milk to lentils and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add a bit of salt, taste, and remove from heat.

Heat remaining T ghee over high heat. Add remaining ingredients and sauté about 1 minute, until mustard seeds turn grey. Stir into lentils and serve.

Notes Serve with rice and roti (Indian flat bread) for an Indian feast.

Vegetarian Cooking for EveryoneAdapted from the recipe for "Red Lentil Dal with Aromatics" in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (read my review).

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Red lentil dal