Hearty Winter Dal

I’m not a good photographer. And dal looks like brown mush anyway. So no picture, just an extremely forgiving, cheap, high-protein and low fat vegan recipe that readily accepts substitutions of whatever you have on hand. In other words, it’s my kind of recipe. It’s perfect for chilly days and tastes great reheated. Just one caveat: it does take a fair amount of time (allow at least 50 minutes), if not a lot of attention.  Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking: A Commonsense Guide.

Dal with Cauliflower, Green Beans, and Potatoes (serves 8 with naan)

1 cup yellow lentils
2/3 cup red lentils
1 TB veg oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
3 cups veg stock
1 cup water
6-8 baby potatoes, halved
2 carrots, chopped
1 head cauliflower (maybe 3 cups frozen; quantity is flexible), florets only
1 cup green beans, chopped (frozen is fine)
naan bread, to serve

Possible substitutions: good quality curry powder for all the spices, all green/red lentils, brown rice instead of naan, varying amounts of vegetables or additional ones (I think peas would work). As I said, this is a forgiving recipe.

  1. Heat oil in a large-ish saucepan, saute onion and garlic for a few minutes over medium until soft and fragrant.
  2. Add the spices and stir until fragrant (about a minute). Add all the lentils, diced tomatoes, stock, and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. While the lentils are simmering, chop your vegetables. Stir in the potatoes and allow to simmer covered for another 10 minutes.
  4. Add carrots and cauliflower and simmer for 10 minutes. If things are starting to look dry, add a little more water or stock.
  5. Add the green beans and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Adjust seasonings (I reduced the amount of spices from the original recipe by about 1/2 tsp each) and serve with warm naan bread.



4 responses to this post.

  1. This looks delicious and perfect for wintry weather. It even gets chilly here in Hawai’i!


  2. This looks wonderful and a perfect winter meal. It is going on my menu plan for next week for sure. I love that you gave substituion ideas as well. So helpful!


  3. Posted by Liz Rockey on 12/01/2010 at 16:10

    I love Indian food! Thank you for sharing this recipe – I’ll have to give it a try. You’re right – a lot of Indian food does look like mush, so its not easy to photograph – but it sure does taste good!


  4. […] willing to eat lentils in soup, chili, and dal, but this recipe is my new favorite way to get them in to my diet. Do you like lentils? What are […]


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