Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
5 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup dal and 8 pita wedges)

Dal is a great choice for a hike - it's high in protein and fiber, low in fat, durable, and nonperishable. Pack dal in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag separate from pitas. Lentils absorb the liquid as they stand, so there's no need to drain them after cooking.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine broth and lentils in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer 10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove from heat; cover and set aside.

Step 2

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, mustard seeds, and red pepper, and cook 5 minutes or until onions are tender and seeds begin to pop, stirring constantly. Add cumin, turmeric, coriander, and black pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste, and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add lentils, coconut milk, and salt; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in juice. Cool to room temperature. Serve dal with pita wedges.

Ratings & Reviews

Renee5732's Review

October 05, 2014
Very tasty! I actually liked it warm, though. I used mustard powder, maybe 3/4 tsp. and also just cooked the lentils in water. Great curry flavor.

ucpegasus's Review

August 22, 2012

cthieme's Review

August 01, 2012
I have made this multiple times already following the recipe to a t and it always came out amazing. Is just finished another batch, except this time I did not have tomato paste on hand, so I used about 1/4 cup crushed tomatoes instead. I also added diced carrots and red peppers this time around as I needed to use them up. Came out fantastic - thanks, cooking light!

nwilker's Review

January 26, 2011
I used 1 cup broth, 1 cup water. (broth was home made). I updated the heat - 1tsp of hot peppers and 1/2 a serrano diced. Used it as a side dish. Hubby loved it! (love the idea of red curry instead of tom paste!)

beachstarr's Review

September 07, 2010
Love this recipe! I use vegetable broth to make this vegetarian. I have made it to take on hikes - great source of protein. When I'm at home add a bit more of vegetable broth so I can pour over brown rice. Serve with greens, yogurt and naan for a complete meal. Yum!

kag17171's Review

June 02, 2010
Vegan AND gluten free! I used vegetable broth and water to cook the lentils, no chicken broth. I have made this twice and have made some big substitutions (like, one time only had red onion, not yellow, and haven't found red lentils, just green or white). Also don't have the mustard seeds. Anyway, it is super yummy no matter what i do to it. i eat it w/o pita or rice, just a spoon and lotsa fresh lime juice.

bahibektoi's Review

November 06, 2009
Followed recipe exactly, except substituted 1 tbs red curry paste for the tomato paste. Very spicy, but excellent! Great over jasmine rice for an entree!

av8girl's Review

April 16, 2009
This is an excellent dal. I added fresh cilantro, and served it with jasmine rice and pita bread as a meal. Very filling, and so easy to make.