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Lentil Dal with Garlic-and-Cumin-Infused Oil

Photo: Karry Hosford
Yield 5 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
Dal, the seasoned and often puréed lentil dish, is served with all traditional Indian meals. It's the either spooned over rice or used as sauce for dipping breads. You can also thin the dal with low-sodium chicken broth or low-fat yogurt to serve as a soup.


  • 1 1/4 cups dried pink or yellow lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped plum tomato
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Nutrition Information

  • calories 202
  • caloriesfromfat 16 %
  • fat 3.5 g
  • satfat 0.5 g
  • monofat 0.8 g
  • polyfat 1.9 g
  • protein 14.1 g
  • carbohydrate 30.6 g
  • fiber 15.3 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 5.1 mg
  • sodium 479 mg
  • calcium 39 mg

How to Make It

  1. Place lentils and turmeric in a large saucepan; cover with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato; cook for 5 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in salt; keep warm.

  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and garlic; cook 2 minutes or until garlic is golden, stirring constantly. Stir in the red pepper, and remove from heat. Pour oil mixture over lentils, and stir in 2 tablespoons cilantro. Spoon the dal into individual bowls, and sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and the lemon juice.