Red Lentil Dahl (My Version)

This traditional northern Indian meal is usually served over rice; however, on a bitter winter afternoon, I prefer to eat this dish as a soup. When preparing, I tend to add a little extra water so I later have the option to eat it as a soup or over rice (Although, lately I find I prefer to eat it as a soup!).

A light turmeric flavor adds comfort, while the combination of cumin and fennel seeds brings a unique taste. A few handfuls of spinach also add some green to your bowl.

Red Lentil Dahl (My Version)
Makes about 4-5 cups of dahl

1c dried red lentils
3 1/3 – 4 c water
1 tsp turmeric
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp lemon juice

Place lentils in a pot with water, turmeric, cinnamon and bay leaf. Simmer about 20 minutes until the lentils are tender. If the lentils absorb a lot of water and you prefer a thinner dahl, add more along the way. If you prefer a thicker version, add less water from the start.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan for 1-2min over high heat. Add cumin and fennel seeds and cook for about 2 min until they start to pop. Be careful not to burn them!

Add the ground coriander, chopped tomatoes, and tomato paste to the pan and cook for at least 5 min longer stirring occasionally. When the tomatoes are cooked to your liking, add the tomato mixture in the pan to the pot with the lentils. Add the lemon juice and stir in 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach until it cooks just a bit. Season with salt and pepper if you wish.


Maya said...

I always a batch stashed away in my freezer.

havecakewilltravel.com said...

I am soooo into Indian food lately, I could bathe in this.

Sarena Shasteen said...

It is so cold outside and that looks perfect to warm me up!

Maryjo said...

hi i spotted your recipe on tastespotting & it looks great! just one question...you don't list chopped tomatoes in your ingredients list. how many are you talking about? a couple fresh ones, a 14oz can of diced?

Sharon said...

Hi Maryjo! The tomatos are listed there...in between the coriander and cinnamon :). I used two whole tomatoes coarsely chopped. They were large tomatoes so I'd say they amounted to approx 2 cups coarsely chopped. Let me know if you have any other questions! :)

Ameet Maturu said...

Hi Sharon,

I never thought to add cinnamon to this dahl, but now I have to try it! Thanks for the suggestion.