This easy lentil dal recipe really brings the heat. The term dal refers to both this soup-like Indian dish and the word for split lentils. The lentils used here are common because they don't require any pre-soaking and cook quickly. They're simmered down in a tomato broth with lots of warm, bold spices. It's a surprisingly filling dish that is great for cold cozy nights and quick meal times. The spiced oil that gets drizzled over top is optional, but highly encouraged. The yogurt will help balance out the spiciness and the acidity of the dish. Sour cream works as a great substitute.
This easy lentil dal recipe really brings the heat.
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 small white 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. coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup lentils
1(14-oz.) can diced tomatoes
4 cup .low-sodium vegetable/meat broth
Ground black pepper
Yogurt, for serving
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.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat remaining tablespoon of oil. Add 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.
Spoon dal into bowl and top with yogurt and a drizzle of the fried cumin seed mixture.
Did you make this recipe? We'd love to see. Tag us @legourmetkampala