It took going vegan for me to fully realize the greatness of lentils. The four or five times I had them prior to that, I never gave them a second thought. Now they’re one of my weekly staples and I can’t imagine life without them.
Lentils are versatile, and can easily be incorporated into a meal once or twice a week. They’re also a pulse that’s full of fiber, iron and protein, so they won’t steer you wrong nutritionally. And they’re a fixture of Indian food, quite possibly my favorite cuisine in the world; I love the spices and the variety of grain and veggie dishes to satisfy even hungry vegans like me.
Hence this red lentil dal.
Not only is this recipe super easy to make—most of the cook time is just simmering—but it’s also packed with a ton of flavor. Its exciting spices give it just the right amount of punch.
It’s the perfect side dish for just about any Indian entrée. Or, if you’re like me, you may want to throw it into one bowl and eat the whole thing by itself….
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups red lentils
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp. oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- ½ tsp. cayenne (ground red) pepper
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. ginger
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- Bring water to boil in large pot.
- Add lentils, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add coconut milk and cook another 10 minutes or until lentils are soft.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet on medium-low; add garlic and onion. Cook until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, spices and lemon to pan, cook about 3 minutes.
- Add skillet mixture and cilantro to lentils and stir gently until everything is combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.