Recipe: Simple Dal

Sorry it has been so long, readers! I’ve been busy juggling the end of my MA courses with a new part-time teaching gig. More updates on both of those to come. In the mean time, here’s a delicious recipe for your weekend enjoyment:

I’ve made dal before and was pleased but not overly smitten with the result. This dal, on the other hand… We’ve made it multiple times in the past month — it’s that easy, that quick, and that delicious. F gets full credit for this, which he found by Googling (ah, Google) “dal recipe” one night when we wanted a quick protein to go with our roasted root veggies. He chose a recipe that came up near the top of the search results and it turned out well-spiced and flavorful. Enjoy it with roasted veggies, rice, naan/pita, yogurt, or just on its own.

Simple Dal (adapted from Dairy Free Cooking; serves 4-6)


  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (we did this in the food processor)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • to taste: salt
  • optional: 2 tbsp tomato paste


  • Heat the sesame oil in a medium pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are softening and translucent.
  • Add the spices to the onion mixture and stir well to combine.
  • Add the lentils and water to the pot; stir well. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the lentils simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes or until they are tender and the dal is at your desired consistency.
  • Stir in the tomato paste at the end, if using.


3 thoughts on “Recipe: Simple Dal

  1. Pingback: Recipe: Spinach & Potato Patties | Wherever I am, you are there also

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