Easy Indian Cooking: Spiced Lentils

August 28, 2014

Since Indian cuisine is primarily a plant based diet, lentils are a key source of protein.  This yellow lentil recipe, also known as dal, is flavored with onions and tomatoes and infused with warm spices including cumin, turmeric, cardamom, cilantro and serrano chile.  Dal is traditional served alongside rice so that it can soak up the delicious broth.  If you are looking to boost your protein intake, you can opt for a heartier grain like barley or quinoa.  Indian spiced lentils can be a main dish or be accompanied by other dishes like chicken tikka masala or vegetable korma.

Indian Spiced Lentils

2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
2 cups yellow lentils, sorted and rinsed
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, with their juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

In a large pot, heat ghee over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until softened and beginning to appear translucent.

Add cumin, cardamom, garlic and ginger and stir with the onions.  Cook the mixture until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add yelow lentils, broth, tomatoes, cilantro, turmeric, salt and serrano chile pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook the lentils until softened.

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