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Red Lentil Dal with Carrot Salad and Coriander Flatbreads

Photo: Caleb Chancey, Brian Woodcock; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
Hands-on time 35 mins
Total time 53 mins
Yield Serves 4 (serving size: about 1/2 cup dal, 1 cup salad, 1 flatbread, and 1/3 cup rice)
This is basically an all-out assault on the bulk bins, as well as our modern take on the rice-and-beans dinner. Spices, dried lentils, and rice are cheap ingredients, especially when you buy in these small quantities. Chiles are also a thrifty flavor booster; you should be able to score the two here for a nickel. Your vegetable peeler will get you nice carrot ribbons. And you'll use your leftover pizza dough from Spinach and Onion Pizza to make the flatbread.


  • Dal:
  • 5 cups water, divided
  • 3/4 cup dried small red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 serrano chiles, minced
  • 2 ounces spinach (about 4 cups loosely packed)
  • Salad:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 cups shaved carrot (about 2 large)
  • 1 cup thinly vertically sliced onion
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • Flatbreads:
  • 4 (1-ounce) pieces refrigerated fresh pizza dough (leftover from Spinach and Onion Pizza)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Remaining ingredient:
  • 1 1/3 cups hot cooked long-grain brown rice

Nutrition Information

  • calories 410
  • fat 12.4 g
  • satfat 1.4 g
  • monofat 7.7 g
  • polyfat 2.1 g
  • protein 15.5 g
  • carbohydrate 60.2 g
  • fiber 10.9 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 3.5 mg
  • sodium 768 mg
  • calcium 67 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare dal, combine 3 cups water and lentils in a bowl. Let stand 20 minutes; drain.

  2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat. Add the chopped onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add ginger and next 6 ingredients (through serranos); sauté for 30 seconds. Add lentils and remaining 2 cups water to pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 23 minutes. Stir in spinach; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts.

  3. To prepare salad, combine 2 tablespoons oil, rind, juice, and sugar in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add carrot, sliced onion, and cilantro; toss to coat.

  4. To prepare flatbreads, shape each dough portion into a 5-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Coat dough with cooking spray. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Add 2 dough portions to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly charred. Repeat the procedure with remaining dough. Combine coriander and 1/4 teaspoon salt; sprinkle over hot flatbreads. Serve with rice, dal, and salad.