Curried Dal with Basmati-Raisin Pilaf

All kinds of lentils play a prominent role in Indian cuisine; here, red lentils cook until they start to break down in the classic dish dal. Served over a spiced basmati rice pilaf, it's a satisfying vegetarian meal. Seed the serrano chile for milder heat.


6 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup dal and about 2/3 cup pilaf)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 328
Caloriesfromfat 10 %
Fat 3.6 g
Satfat 0.4 g
Monofat 1.7 g
Polyfat 0.3 g
Protein 15.8 g
Carbohydrate 60.2 g
Fiber 9.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Iron 4.1 mg
Sodium 509 mg
Calcium 59 mg


3 cups water
1 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
2 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups dried small red lentils
1 cup chopped plum tomato
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 serrano chile, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


1. To prepare pilaf, combine the first 8 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; stir once. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Discard cinnamon, cardamom, and bay leaf.

2. To prepare dal, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in ginger, curry powder, cumin, and garlic; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add 4 cups water and next 4 ingredients (through serrano); bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in cilantro. Serve over pilaf.