This vegan spicy red lentil dal recipe is prepared with tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger and a combination of Indian spices like turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, cumin and cayenne. It’s a flavorful combination and pairs well with rice or leafy greens (such as arugula as I have here). It’s the best red lentil dal ever!
Anyone who gardens and has tomato plants, especially here in California, will know that our plants are blooming with tomatoes at the moment. So I set out to use a few of my tomatoes and incorporate some lentils into the recipe collection with this wonderful vegan red lentil dal.
The ingredient list is very easy, you may very well already have all of them on hand. I encourage you to gather your ingredients, get in the kitchen and make yourself some of this easy, vegan spicy red lentil Dal.
Happy chopping, dicing, cooking and most of all eating!
Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber, and are a low fat food. They are healthy addition to a plant-based, vegan lifestyle. One cup of lentils boosts 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber. More about the health benefits of lentils here: Live Strong – Lentil Nutrition
Adding cooked tomatoes to any dish is also healthy, as cooking increases the level of phytochemicals, such as lycopene to do it’s magic. Tomatoes are one of a few vegetables that may actually be better for you when cooked. See more about that here: Tomatoes: Cooked better than raw?
Altogether, this was a great place to use a my garden tomatoes and add a good dose of protein packed lentils to my day.
Dal is an Indian dish that’s traditionally served over rice but I LOVED it on a bed of arugula!
The nutty flavor of the arugula paired beautifully while adding freshness. Even if you do decide to serve this with a grain, I highly recommend adding in some sort of fresh leafy greens for freshness.
All in all, the recipe is perfect, not overly spicy with nice hints of cinnamon, cumin and ginger. If you don’t like it spicy, by all means omit the cayenne.
I could easily eat this on a regular basis and will next time double the recipe so I have plenty of leftovers.Print
SPICY RED LENTIL DAL
This easy spicy red lentil dal is prepared with tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger and a combination of Indian spices like turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, cumin and cayenne.
- 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.
Not a fan of spicy, feel free to omit the cayenne. It will still be delish!
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.