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Easiest Red Lentil Dal

Red Lentil Dal

To me, cooking with dried legumes was always kind of a daunting idea. I love to cook, no doubt about that. And I don’t mind spending a lot of time in the kitchen. As a matter of fact, I LOVE spending a lot of time in the kitchen. But… with our busy lives, dishes should preferably be easy and fast to prepare and cook. No time (or better: patience) to soak some dried beans for hours, before cooking them… for hours. Until I realized that lentils are a different matter. Especially red lentils.

No picky eaters

We often introduce new foods to our boys. I consider myself extremely lucky, that even at this young age, they are quite adventurous eaters. They won’t pull up their noses at food, just because they don’t know what it is. It’s actually quite the opposite. Don’t know this, yeah, let’s try it! I can tell from all the stories I hear about picky eaters, that this is rather special. So, believe me, I’m really counting my blessings.

Spicy food

The only thing that is holding us back with some cuisines, is when the dishes are ‘hot’. Our oldest son will try and eat anything spicy. He can even eat spicier food than I do. Our youngest however, cannot eat very spicy food. But… he’s trying.

Indian cuisine

My husband and I love Indian cuisine, but we have not yet ventured there with the boys. They do love my mild chicken curry, but that is hardly an Indian dish. While many Indian dishes are quite hot, there are some very tasty, mild varieties, mostly vegetable stews.

Dal

One typical dish is ‘dal’. But what is dal? Dal refers to a dish as well as an ingredient. Dal as ingredient refers to a split version of several types of lentil, chick peas, kidney beans, peas etc. As a dish, it is a stew or soup made with any kind of dried legume, whole or split. Now back to those red lentils. They don’t have to be soaked and are easy to cook. And as not a lot of spices are needed to make an absolutely delicious dal (you can make it as mild or as hot as you wish), this was the perfect dish to start.

Ingredients

3 shallots

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp vegetable/olive oil

500 g dried red lentils

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground ginger*

1 l chicken stock

1 can coconut milk

Naan and crème fraîche to serve

Instructions

Finely chop the shallots and crush the garlic cloves.

Sauté shallots and garlic in a tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil until the shallots are translucent.

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Add turmeric and ground ginger and briefly stir fry the spices (about 20 seconds).

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Instead of the ground ginger, you could use 1 or 2 tsp of freshly grated ginger.

Add the red lentils, chicken stock and a can of coconut milk and stir.

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Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 – 25 minutes.

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Serve hot with naan bread and crème fraîche.

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As this is a very mild dish, you could add more spices or chili to taste. I always put some chili paste or chili sauce on the table, so everyone can adjust to suite their own taste buds ;-).

We ate this as a main and the next day as a side with some grilled chicken.

Enjoy!

Red Lentil Dal

Easiest Red Lentil Dal

Author Nicole

Ingredients

  • 3 shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp vegetable/olive oil
  • 500 g dried red lentils
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger*
  • 1 l chicken stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Naan and crème fraîche to serve

Instructions

  1. Finely chop the shallots and crush the garlic cloves.

  2. Sauté shallots and garlic in a tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil until the shallots are translucent.

  3. Add turmeric and ground ginger and briefly stir fry the spices (about 20 seconds).

  4. Instead of the ground ginger, you could use 1 or 2 tsp of freshly grated ginger.

  5. Add the red lentils, chicken stock and a can of coconut milk and stir.

  6. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 – 25 minutes.

  7. Serve hot with naan bread and crème fraîche.

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