Anyone who gardens and has tomato plants, especially here in California, will know that our plants are blooming with tomatoes at the moment. I set out to use some of my tomatoes and incorporate some lentils into my recipe collection. Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber for any lifestyle, and they are a low fat food. Nice to make up for all the higher fat foods I eat frequently like avocados and nut butters, albeit they are good fats but still nice to balance it out. One cup of lentils boosts 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber. Adding cooked tomatoes to any dish is also healthy as cooking increases the level of phytochemicals, such as lycopene to do it’s magic. Altogether, this was a great place to use a few garden tomatoes and add a good dose of lentils to my day. I’ve made lentil dishes in the past but easily tired of them. This recipe is perfect, not overly spicy with nice hints of cinnamon, cumin and ginger. I could easily eat this on a regular basis and will next time double the recipe so I have plenty of leftovers. I encourage you to gather your ingredients, get in the kitchen and make yourself some spicy lentil Dal. If you don’t care for spice, you can omit the cayenne altogether…but do trust me when I say it’s very low heat. Happy chopping, dicing, cooking and most of all eating!
A very easy ingredient list, you may have all of them on hand already. A simple, delicious dish to enjoy often!
Dal is an Indian dish that’s traditionally served over rice but I LOVED it on a bed of arugula. The nutty flavor paired beautifully while adding freshness. Even if you decide to serve this with a grain, I highly recommend adding in some sort of fresh leafy greens.Print
SPICY LENTIL DAL
A very flavorful red lentil dal!
- 1 cup red lentils (if using green/brown, see notes)
- 4 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil or 3 tablespoons water (for water saute)
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 3-4 medium tomatoes, diced or 1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt, or to taste
Place lentils, liquid, and dry spices in a large pot, cover, and bring to boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, not mushy.
Meanwhile, saute onions, ginger & garlic in oil over moderate heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir-fry 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
When lentils are tender, stir in onions and tomato mixture, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Serve over arugula, brown rice, whole wheat pasta or as is with some of your favorite bread.
I happen to love this with fresh greens, it adds so much freshness to the dish. Even if you serve this with a grain, fresh arugula or cilantro will do wonders.
If you happen to not have a spice or two you will still have a flavorful dish. Adjust ingredients to suit your taste.
I would really stick with red lentils, but you prefer green or brown lentils, cook about 45 minutes, or until tender.
If two medium onions are too much onion for you, one will do fine.