This gloriously golden red lentil dal is the ultimate in comfort food. Fragrant, creamy and utterly delicious this simple dal recipe will be on the table in under 30 minutes!
Dal, daal, dhal or dahl, whatever you call it is one of my ultimate comfort foods.
It also seems to be one of those polarising foods.
Some people, like me, love it for its comforting hug in a bowl qualities, while others deride its simplicity. That and the fact that its made from lentils. But dal’s simplicity is the main part of its charm.
If you belong to the camp that believed dal was difficult to make at home, let me tell you it isn’t. In fact, this red lentil dal is ready in under 30 minutes.
The other charming thing about making this simple dal recipe is the beautiful aromas that fill the air. The earthiness of cumin, the slight citrus notes of coriander seeds and the sweetness of cinnamon begins the act of comforting you before you even take a bite.
While naan is a fabulous accompaniment to this dal I like to make flatbreads as they are quick and don’t require time to rise. I use this recipe here and slather it with garlic butter. Along with steamed basmati rice and fresh coriander (cilantro) and squeeze of lemon it’s the ultimate satisfying meal.
For a lighter lunch-time version I like to serve it with a side of watercress or rocket (arugula).
So tell me, do you like dal? What is your favourite version?
10 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tbs grated ginger
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tomato, finely chopped
- 2 tbs coriander (cilantro) roots and stalks, finely chopped
- 6 curry leaves
- 1 tsp yellow mustard leaves
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 cup red lentils
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place a large pot over your smallest burner set to a medium heat. Add the olive oil (you can also use coconut oil or ghee) and the onions, ginger, chilli, tomato and coriander roots. Add a couple of pinches of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are sweet and golden, around 5 minutes.
- Add the curry leaves and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop add the rest of the spices and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add the lentils, stock and coconut milk and when it starts bubbling reduce the heat to low.
- Let the dal bubble away for 20 minutes or so or until the lentils collapse and the dal becomes beautifully creamy. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.