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
How to Make It
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.
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.
This dal was OK -- not as good as Indian restaurant but an enjoyable side dish or lunch. As with some other reviewers, I used canned tomatoes, less water, and a bit more garlic. I pureed mine before serving so the consistency was closer to that of restaurant dal.