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Dal with Cucumber Cream and Pita Chips

Dal with Cucumber Cream and Pita Chips

There are many ways to serve dal, an Indian dish of pureed lentils, peas, or beans. This version adds a cool, creamy cucumber topping to balance the spiciness. It can be made in advance; add two tablespoons hot water, and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. The cucumber cream and chips may also be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Cooking Light MARCH 2007

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • Pita chips:
  • 2 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas
  • Cucumber cream:
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
  • Dash of salt
  • Dal:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
  • 3 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
  • 1 1/4 cups dried lentils
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped plum tomato
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare pita chips, split pitas; cut each half into 8 wedges. Arrange wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely on baking sheet.

To prepare cucumber cream, place spinach and sour cream in a food processor; process until smooth. Place spinach mixture in a small bowl; stir in cucumber and dash of salt. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

To prepare dal, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds; cook 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Stir in onion, garlic, red pepper, turmeric, and ginger; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, lentils, and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are very tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer 20 minutes or until thick and creamy, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Remove from heat. Stir in tomato, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and juice. Spoon about 3/4 cup dal into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 3 tablespoons cucumber cream and 8 pita chips.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 384
  • Calories from fat: 14%
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated fat: 1.6g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.8g
  • Protein: 20.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 63.3g
  • Fiber: 21.1g
  • Cholesterol: 7mg
  • Iron: 6.3mg
  • Sodium: 708mg
  • Calcium: 81mg

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Dal with Cucumber Cream and Pita Chips recipe