Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen
If you want to impress someone with a dal, make it this one. Don’t be afraid of the number of spices—it is quite simple to make. The spices and garlic are blended to a paste and fried in the oil. A hot sauce (chiles, garlic, and vinegar) in the tadka is another secret to getting the right flavor profile. Serve this as a part of a meal, or with rice or naan or other flatbread.
- 3/4 cup brown lentils, washed and drained
- 2 cups water
- 2 to 3 teaspoons safflower or other neutral oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red or white onion
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek leaves or 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha or other hot sauce, to taste
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter (optional)
Combine the lentils with 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Partially cover and cook over medium heat until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, make the tempering. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
In a blender, combine the garlic, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, fenugreek, paprika, nutmeg, black pepper, sriracha, and 2 tablespoons of water. Blend to combine well. Add this paste to the onions in the skillet. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and salt, and cook until the tomatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Mash the larger tomato pieces.
Add the tempering to the lentils. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and spice. Garnish with cilantro and vegan butter, if using, and serve hot.
Richa Hingle is the award winning recipe developer, blogger, and photographer behind VeganRicha.com and the author of two cookbooks. This recipe can be found in her book Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen.
Recipe reprinted from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. Copyright © 2015 by Richa Hingle. Used by permission Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.