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.
- 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
- Rinse and drain the dried lentils, removing any stones and damaged lentils.
- Put the rinsed lentils in a pot and cover them with cold water.
- 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.
- Add more water as necessary throughout the cooking process.
- Stir in the chopped vegetables, tomato paste and seasonings, and continue to simmer the lentils until they are fully cooked.
- Season the lentils to taste.
- Top the lentil dal with a dollop of plain yogurt and chopped cilantro and serve with rice and/or naan bread.