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Lentil Dal



Lentils are part of the legume family and though they are small they pack a nutritional punch.  They are high in protein so are often a staple in vegetarian diets.  They are one of the best vegetable sources of iron and are also high in fiber and folate.  In a nutshell, the more lentils you consume, the better.

Lentil dal is an Indian dish made of stewed lentils that is usually seasoned to taste.  It is a dish that I used to order often at Indian restaurants and it usually comes with rice or naan.  I used my mom’s lentil soup recipe as a reference but I used much less water and seasoned it with spices that are found in many Indian dishes.

Lentil Dal
Recipe type: Main Course
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Lentil dal is an Indian dish of stewed lentils that is easy to make at home.
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 2-4 cups water, as needed
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • ¼ tsp coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  1. Rinse and drain the dried lentils, removing any stones and damaged lentils.
  2. Put the rinsed lentils in a pot and cover them with cold water.
  3. Bring them to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let them simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are starting to become tender.
  4. Add more water as necessary throughout the cooking process.
  5. Stir in the chopped vegetables, tomato paste and seasonings, and continue to simmer the lentils until they are fully cooked.
  6. Season the lentils to taste.
  7. Top the lentil dal with a dollop of plain yogurt and chopped cilantro and serve with rice and/or naan bread.