Dal, a type of thick lentil stew, is a staple dish in South Asia. Red or yellow lentils are cooked with onions, garlic, ginger, chilies, tomatoes, and spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric, then simmered in water until lentils are tender and a thick soup-like consistency is achieved.
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 large tomato, finely diced
- 2 cups yellow lentil, washed and drained
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cracked pepper
- 1 small chili or 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
- 4-5 cups water, more if necessary (I added around 5 1/2)
- 2 tbsp cilantro, minced
- more salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the diced onions and cook until slightly brown and tender, around 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper, and chili, and fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, or until spices are aromatic. Add the tomatoes and lentils, and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add water, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
- Different lentils require different cooking times. For me, yellow lentils will take around 30-35 minutes of simmering time. Stir often and add more water if you desire more liquid (my dad likes his very soup-like and probably adds 6-8 cups of water!). Taste the consistency of the lentils after 30 minutes and adjust salt and pepper.
- In the last 2 minutes of simmering, toss in the fresh cilantro and stir. Ladle over steamed rice and serve warm.
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