Many of my dinners are meatless, but there are few, if any, that my other half will consume without expressing the desire for a ‘steak on the side’. Oy!
That could be because a lot of my meat-free recipes revolve around quinoa, and everyone in my household seems to hate quinoa with the exception of yours truly. No matter, more for me!
With this meal, I can at least persuade my husband to eat vegetarian, if only for the night (he usually has to have some eggs later, but I’ll take what I can get!).
If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is a recipe for the popular Indian dish, dal, a lentil-based bowl of deliciousness, and probably our all-around favorite meatless meal here at the Goslin house.
I first discovered dal on a vegan website over ten years ago now, at a time in my life when my allergies were pretty bad and lentils were among the few foods I could eat. I lived with my mom at the time, and would make this for her and me alongside a healthy helping of brown rice (another well-tolerated food) a few times a week.
Needless to say she quickly tired of the dish, but it remained a favorite with me.
Over the years, I’ve tweaked it here and there, adding a bit more of this spice or that spice, trying it out with tomatoes and coconut milk, but personally, I love the more unadulterated taste of the creamy lentils, and for my taste, this recipe can be perfected no more.
I am happy to say that this is a meal our whole family enjoys as well, especially when paired with my homemade spelt naan, which I’m aiming to share on Friday!
Creamy and flavorful red lentil dal recipe.
- 1 T . coconut or olive oil
- 1 c . yellow onion , chopped
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 T . fresh ginger , grated or minced
- 1 1/2 c . red lentils , rinsed well
- 1 t . cumin
- 1 t . coriander
- 1/2 t . turmeric
- 1/4 t . cardamom
- 1/8 t . cinnamon
- 1/8 t . cayenne , or to taste
- 1-1 1/2 t . sea salt , added at the end of cooking
- 2-3 c . water
- 1 (packed) c. dark leafy greens, such as spinach or chard
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan.
- Add in onion and saute 3-5 minutes.
- Add in garlic and ginger and cook ~30 seconds.
- Add in remaining spices (cumin-cayenne) and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in lentils and enough water to cover the lentils by about 1/2 inch.
- Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook 10-15 minutes.
- Stir the pot often, as this helps the lentils to break down.
- Add in more water if needed as the cooking process continues.
- Dal is ready when the lentils are creamy and almost pureed.
- Stir in dark greens and salt (to taste) and let mixture heat through until the greens wilt.
- Serve with brown rice or naan on the side.
Nutrition info based on using olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, and spinach. WW SmartPoints: 5
Though free of dairy and lower in fat than the traditional dal recipes, this version is still delicious, especially when served up with some whole-grain naan flatbread, which (again) I’m planning on sharing this Friday.
Do you enjoy lentils?