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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Indian Dal

Serve this thick stew with hot cooked basmati rice or as a dip for toasted bread.

Sunset OCTOBER 2001

  • Yield: Makes 5 cups; 5 servings


  • 1 tablespoon salad oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 quart vegetable or fat-skimmed chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups dried Red Chief lentils (12 oz.; see notes), sorted and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • About 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeƱo chilies
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried turmeric
  • Salt


1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir oil, cumin, and cardamom just until spices are fragrant, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Add broth, lentils, onion, 1/4 cup cilantro, ginger, chilies, garlic, and turmeric. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring often, until lentils fall apart, about 15 minutes.

2. Ladle dal into bowls, sprinkle with more cilantro, and add salt to taste.


You can also use Canary or Crimson lentils.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 303
  • Calories from fat: 12%
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 3.9g
  • Saturated fat: 0.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 49g
  • Fiber: 8.5g
  • Sodium: 67mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg

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Indian Dal Recipe