Indian Lentil and Tomato Dal
Recipe type: Indian
Cuisine: Dinner
Serves: 4 to 6
Jenny says, dal is one of the cheapest and healthiest dishes you can ever make, and it's delicious too. You can eat it with boiled rice or flat, Indian-style breads, or as a side dish with a curry.
  • 1¼ cups red lentils
  • 2½ cups water
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1¼ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as sunflower or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • salt
  • For the Tarka Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds or cumin seeds and a pich of red pepper flakes
  • A handful of chopped cilantro or mint leaves
  1. Soak the lentils in the measured water while you prepare the onions, garlic, and ginger.
  2. Add the vegetable oil to a large saucepan, place it over medium heat, then add the onions and sauté gently until they soften. Next, add the garlic and ginger and stir over the heat until the smell wafts up at you. Sprinkle in the turmeric and take the pan off the heat.
  3. Now, carefully add the tomatoes, coconut milk and the lentils with their water.
  4. Put the pan back on the heat and simmer, or bubble, slowly, for about 20 minutes until the lentils have collapsed and you have a creamy mixture.
  5. Taste the dal and add salt to balance the flavors.
  6. To make the topping, take a small pan and warm the oil over medium heat, then add the seeds and fry for about a minute until they begin to pop.
  7. Spoon the oil and seeds onto the dal. Stir and serve with a good sprinkling of chopped cilantro or mint.
Recipe by Lizs Healthy Table at