Basic and Delicious Dal

I love lentils. More specifically, I love dal. While there is nothing usually too exciting about dal for vegetarians, I thought I would include my favorite easy dal recipe. Mark Bittman is easily one of my favorite food writers. I have read How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian on more than one occasion. I even have the iPhone apps for the books (which are fantastic!)

Dal is wonderful on cold nights, and it tastes even better reheated the next day for lunch.

This dal recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman's "Simplest Dal"

Simplest Dal
  • 1 cup dried red lentils (if you can't get red, brown are okay) soaked, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger (about two inches unpeeled. I like to grate the ginger right into the saucepan to make sure I get all the juice and ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic (if you have a garlic crusher, crush the garlic directly into the saucepan with the ginger)
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (any curry powder will do, it adds some nice fragrance and color to the dish)
  • one 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon earth balance vegan butter
Combine lentils, ginger, garlic, cardamom, mustard, cloves, and curry powder in a saucepan and add water to cover by about 1 inch. Cook at a steady simmer until the lentils are very soft, about 30 minutes. Add the tomatoes toward the end of cooking and then season with salt/pepper.

Remove the cloves, but leave the cardamom pods (warn your eaters though!) Add the butter right before serving and stir well.

Serving ideas:
  • Spoon over some brown or jasmine rice
  • Warm whole-wheat pita and cut into triangles for dipping

Getting ready to make dal
Getting ready to cook dal

With some pita
Served with some pita wedges