This easy lentil dal recipe really brings thee heat. Dal is an Indian dish and the term dal refers to both this soup-like dish and the word for split lentils. The red lentils used here are common in dals because they don't require any pre-soaking and cook quickly. They are simmered down in a tomato broth with lots of warm, bold spices. It's a surprisingly filling dish that is great for cold winter night and when you don't have a lot of time to cook. The spiced oil that gets drizzled over top is optional, but highly encouraged. The yogurt will help balance out the spiciness and the acidity of the dish. Sour cream works as a great substitute.
Looking for something less spicy? Try our Instant Pot Lentil Soup!
Have you made this yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
vegetable oil, divided
small yellow onion, diced
cloves garlic, minced
freshly minced ginger
green chilis, one diced and one sliced in rounds, divided
cumin seeds, divided
(14-oz.) can diced tomatoes
low-sodium vegetable broth
Freshly ground black pepper
Yogurt, for serving
- In a medium pot over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and diced chili. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and spices and stir to coat vegetables and to toast seeds, another minute. Add in lentils and toss to coat well, then add tomatoes and broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 20 minutes, or until lentils are soft and broken down.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat remaining tablespoon of oil. Add remaining 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds and cook until darkened and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sliced chili and cook 1 minute more. Pour into a small heatproof bowl, scraping out all the seeds and oil and let cool while lentils continue to cook.
- Spoon dal into bowl and top with yogurt and a drizzle of the fried cumin seed mixture.