Red Lentil Dal - BASICS recipe


In Indian cooking, 'dal' refers to lentils, as well as lentil soup. There are hundreds of types of Indian dals, which are not only delicious, filling and nutritious, but also very affordable! 


This red lentil dal is made of ingredients that are easily found at Quabbin Harvest. This recipe generously serves eight and only costs 74 cents per serving.


Cristina's Red Lentil Dal

Yield: 8 1-cup servings dal + 8 3/4-cup servings rice 
Cost at Quabbin Harvest: .74 cents per serving ($5.93 total)

2       cups red lentils
8       cups water
1       cup onion, sliced (3oz)
3       garlic cloves, thinly sliced (.75oz)
1       teaspoon dried ginger
1/2    tablespoon cumin
1       teaspoon coriander
1/4    teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1       bay leaf

2       tablespoons safflower oil
1       tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1/2    teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2       cups white rice 

Rinse lentils in cool water. In large pot bring 8 cups water and lentils to a boil, skim foam and reduce to a simmer. Add onions, garlic and spice list through bay leaf. Stir occasionally until lentils give and dal thickens, 20-30 minutes. While lentils simmer warm oil in a small pot or pan. Carefully add mustard seeds and red pepper to warm oil, shake gently across burner for 20-30 seconds of pop and sizzle. Tip oil mixture into dal stir and season to taste. 

Cook rice according to package directions.

Coconut oil or ghee are nice substitutes for the safflower oil. Leave out cayenne and or red pepper flakes to take out the heat. Delicious topped with chopped fresh cilantro, diced tomato and a dollop of yogurt. Try adding a cup of frozen veg during the last few minutes of cooking.

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