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  • leighannewooten

Easy Lentil Dal

Have you ever had lentil dal? Do you love it as much as we do?

It’s deliciously complex flavor would lead you to believe it takes hours to make and a culinary degree, but you’re in for a pleasant surprise! If you can boil water, heat up some spices, and stir, you can make this amazing Indian dish!

Lentil Dal is:

  • Fast

  • Easy

  • CHEAP!

  • Vegan

  • Allergen Friendly

  • A great source of protein, fiber, iron, vitamins and minerals

Bon Appetit!


  • 1c red lentils, rinsed

  • 3c water

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (or ground cumin)

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1c diced yellow onion (or 1 Tbsp onion powder)

  • 1 green chili pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced (serrano for spicy, jalapeno for more mild, or leave it out if you don't want the heat)

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (or about 1 tsp ground garlic)

  • 1 Tbsp finely minced ginger (or about 1 Tbsp ground ginger)

  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

  • Juice of one half a lemon

  • Chopped cilantro for garnish


  • Place the rinsed lentils in a large saucepan with water. Turn the heat to medium and cook lentils for 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in medium skillet set over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cinnamon stick; cook for 60 to 90 seconds, until fragrant. Add onion, green chili pepper, garlic, and ginger; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.

  • Add turmeric, cardamom, paprika, salt, and tomatoes to pan. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes and then discard cinnamon stick.

  • Once lentils are cooked, drain off any excess water that is on top of the lentils, but do not drain off all the water. Stir spiced onion mixture into lentils. Add lemon juice and stir well. Taste and add salt as needed.

  • Too dry? Add some water. Too wet? Let it simmer a bit longer on low.

  • Garnish with cilantro; serve with basmati or jasmine rice.

Thank you, @wanderlustkitchen for the recipe inspo!

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