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. Recipe and photos from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen * © 2015 by Richa Hingle. Vegan Heritage Press, LLC. reprinted by permission.
- ¾ cup brown lentils, washed and drained
- 2 cups water
- 2 to 3 teaspoons safflower or other neutral oil
- ½ cup finely chopped red or white onion
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek leaves or ⅛ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ tablespoons sriracha or other hot sauce, to taste
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1½ cups chopped tomato
- ¾ 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.
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