It was cold and rainy in New York City this past week. To warm up my belly without putting too much strain on my wallet, I decided to make dal. Dal is an Indian lentil stew and boy, is it good!
Sometimes I get intimidated by making Indian dishes because of the number of spices used, etc. I want to do it “right” but don’t always have the opportunity to stock my pantry with every seasoning. The recipe I go by is as minimal as it gets.
If you make the spice blend ahead of time and keep some on hand, your prep time will be even shorter. Let me know if you have any variations you’d like to share!
What you’ll need:
- cutting board
- chef’s knife
- high sided non-stick pan
- medium sauté pan
- garlic press
- small bowl
- measuring cup
- measuring spoons
- can opener
Dal Spice Blend (make this first)
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (ground)
- 1/2 tsp mustard seed (ground)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne or paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix together in a small bowl. Taste a tiny bit to gauge heat/flavor. Feel free to add a little more or less depending on how you like it.
- 3 tsp olive oil (2 tsp + 1 tsp)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled + minced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
- 2 tsp dal spice blend
- 1/2 cup red split lentils
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 can lite coconut milk (do not open until ready to pour)
- 1/2 bunch kale, washed and roughly chopped
- chili sauce, sriracha, liquid aminos (you’ll see later why they are no measurements)
- cilantro, roughly chopped (sub parsley if you don’t like cilantro)
- 1 lime, quartered
- Rice (start cooking before the lentils) or naan (toast in the last 5 minutes until warmed through)
- In a high sided non-stick skillet, heat 2 tsp of olive oil over medium high heat. When hot, sauté the ginger and shallot for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the dal spice blend, salt to taste, and stir.
- Shake the can of coconut milk and open. Add the coconut milk, 3/4 cup water and red lentils to the pan. Bring to a simmer then lower the temperature to medium, stirring occasionally. Cook for 20-22 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Squeeze the juice from 2 lime quarters into the lentils and stir.
- After the lentils have cooked for about 10 minutes, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium high heat. Add the kale – be careful for any spattering from the water hitting the oil. Sauté the kale until wilted. Season it with some chili sauce and liquid aminos if you’d like. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Evenly distribute the lentils into two bowls. Top with the cooked kale, carb and cilantro. Enjoy!
Tip: Great for lunch the next day. You can double recipe easily- just test the spice blend before adding. You can top the dal with any sautéed or roasted vegetable and protein!