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

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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.

Ratings & Reviews

jessicagrimm's Review

February 24, 2012
This recipe is pretty easy and quick but the flavors weren't as rich as I've had in dal from actual Indian restaurants. It's still really good and quite filling

renarruhn44's Review

July 14, 2010
I thought this was a great recipe. I will definitely make it again. I could use more curry flavor next time around. The pilaf smelled so good, and was tasty...could be made all on it's own. I didn't use the Cadamom Pods because I didn't have any. Thumbs up.