I used to think I hated Indian food and curry. Then I slowly grew accustomed to curries via Thai food, and I was eventually brave enough to try Indian food again. Guess what? I liked it! Though I will admit there are still some Indian flavors that are not my favorite, I’ve definitely found a bunch that I really enjoy.
I’ve never had Dal (an Indian lentil dish) at a restaurant but I love lentils, so when I saw this recipe in a magazine I thought it was worth a go! The original recipe called for only 1/2 tsp curry powder which I thought was WAY too little (or maybe my curry powder is just really weak?). I ended up increasing it by a lot– to 1 tbsp, which was definitely not too much. I used yellow madras curry powder. If you use something different, taste as you go.
The end result was a super healthy and tasty dish. I thought it could use a little more spice, so I topped it with a little Sriracha, but next time I’ll probably add some more cayenne or try a different (spicier) curry variety!
Spiced Dal with Cilantro Yogurt
(adapted from Real Simple)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 cups dried red lentils
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving
- 1 cup basmati rice (I used brown basmati), cooked according to package directions
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
- Naan bread, for serving (optional but highly recommended)
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, curry powder, cayenne and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies soften, about 10 minutes.
Add the lentils, water and veggie stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are very tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
In a bowl, combine yogurt and cilantro. Add salt & pepper, to taste.
To serve, top the rice with the lentils, yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges and warm naan bread!