This is a great Indian dal recipe with very subtle flavors which blend together smoothly. It’s a sweet variety of spices to introduce children to complex flavors in a healthy dish. A satisfying winter dish, this may be enjoyed year-round as it is very easy to prepare and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion – peeled and minced
1 carrot – peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic – peeled and minced
1 T fresh ginger – peeled and finely grated
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. brown sugar
1/2 t. tumeric
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. cayenne
1c. dried split red lentils, picked through and rinsed
1 t. salt
4 c. chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1/2 c. plain yogurt (or cottage cheese)
chopped fresh cilantro
Melt butter in pot with the olive oil, saute onions, garlic and carrot for about 4 min.
Add spices, stir/cook for 1 min. until lightly browned. Be careful not to scorch the spices.
Add the dal, salt and ginger stirring to coat the dal.
Add the stock and the water. Increase the heat to bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Allow it to simmer for 35-50 min. (depending on when the lentils are soft and done).
Garnish the bowl of soup before serving with yogurt or cottage cheese and cilantro.
Depending on the amount of water and stock used, the dish may be adjusted for a soup variation or for a lentil side dish. Cut the stock and water to half for the lentil side dish. It may work well served with other dishes such as chicken or lamb or with a green salad.
For vegetarian/vegan version: eliminate the butter from the recipe and replace with 2 additional tablespoons of olive oil, replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock and leave out the yogurt/cottage cheese.
As an addition to serve with the soup either on the side or as a base to pour the soup over, cook up a batch of basmati rice and peas. This adds the carbohydrate balance to the protein of the dal.