Lentils Masala

I wanted to make daal, or Indian red lentil soup, but I won’t dare to call this dish the same as the daal from my favorite Indian restaurant. It isn’t as soupy as my idea of daal, but it is, however, warm and aromatic, comforting, and delicious. I used garam masala, dried coriander, and cumin as the spices for this dish.

The lentils are simmered on low until they are the most tender, and then served with basmati rice and freshly chopped cilantro. It isn’t spicy per se, more warming and earthy. Perfect for a grey rainy day. We’ve been having too many of those lately here in NYC!

Not only is it super tasty, but red lentils have great protein, making this a very filling and low cost meal if you have the spices on hand. Please feel free to use your preferred mix of curry spices from your cabinet!

1 tbsp oil
1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp Garam Masala
1/2 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dry red lentils
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish
4 servings cooked basmati rice

In large and deep skillet over medium heat, add oil. Once hot, add yellow onion, carrots, garlic, and ginger, and saute until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Next, reduce heat to low, add garam masala, coriander, cumin, and tomato paste, and stir to incorporate until the spices are very aromatic, about 1-2 minutes. Pour in red lentils, water, and salt, stir, and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer gently until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the lentils and they are very tender, tasting and seasoning to your tastes halfway through. Serve over basmati rice with fresh chopped cilantro as a garnish.

Serves 4

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