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Indian Red Lentils (dal)

Chef's corner headerIndian spices and coconut milk jazz up these little legumes superbly. In less than 15 minutes you can make a flavorful plant-based bowl of comfort packed with protein and nutrients. Any lentils can be used for this recipe, although the red ones become naturally creamy, nutty, and quick to cook.

Ingredients for 6 to 10 bowls

  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 medium white onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tsp of freshly grated ginger
  • 1 chili pepper without seeds and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups of red lentils
  • 3 cups of water or stock
  • 1 tsp powdered turmeric
  • 1 tsp powdered cumin
  • 1 tsp powdered coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala or a curry powder of your choice
  • 1 can (400 ml) of coconut milk
  • 500 grams of tomato puree (passata)
  • Juice of one lime or to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Indian Red LentilsTo serve

  • Cooked rice (basmati is ideal)
  • Yogurt (or vegan version)
  • Chopped cilantro or mint
  • Toasted sesame seeds, slivered almonds or chopped pistachios
  • Lime wedges
  • Bread (ideally naan or pita, but baguette is nice too)

Directions

  1. Heat the coconut oil and fry onions until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, chili pepper and fry for one minute before adding the lentils, water, spices, and tomato puree. Make sure to stir often scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid burning.
  3. After about 5 minutes, when the stew is nice and thick, add the coconut milk, lime juice, then adjust the seasonings.
  4. Add more water or stock if necessary, since lentils tend to absorb great amounts of liquid.
  5. Ladle into bowls and serve with the accompaniments listed above.

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