Easy Dal (Indian lentil soup)
Remember the red lentils I cooked yesterday that turned up mushy (originally intended for a lentil salad)? Well something good, really good came out of that mistake! This is the dal soup I created with them and boy is it good and spicy whoa! I don’t mind cranking up the spice level as long as I can still taste the flavors of a dish. This dal has both heat and flavor, and a wonderful aroma to boot!
This is actually my first attempt at making dal, I usually only eat it when I’m dining at an Indian restaurant. I always thought it would be hard to make since the flavors taste so complex, also I’m not very familiar with Indian cooking. Technically, this soup has the potential to be a pain to make if you are doing it from scratch. By that I mean making your own garam masala (crushing cumin seeds, cardamom pods, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and a variety of other spices). But I have pre-made masala blend (really easy to find in most grocery stores or health food stores) so my prepping took less than 10 minutes of mostly chopping.
What I like doing whenever I make a big bowl of soup is to save individual portions in small tupperware containers. This makes eating lunch very easy and convenient! I still have two containers left in the fridge and one very squeezed lemon 3 days later! It simplifies life whenever I have good, healthy, home made meals in the fridge. I get to enjoy the food even more when it’s guilt free and I know exactly what ingredients went into it.
A note about jalapenos and other hot peppers:
The seeds are what makes peppers hot. So if you like the taste of hot peppers but not so much the heat, discard the seeds and only use the flesh. I have a great Vindaloo curry recipe for a complete Indian dinner, or you can go milder and serve this dal along with a kale Caesar salad.
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (keep the seeds for spicier)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 cups orange lentils
- 2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp store bought garam masala
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- lemon wedges
- - In a large pot over high heat add butter, olive oil, garlic, onions, ginger and jalapeno. Cook for about 4 minutes, until onions are soft and translucent.
- - Add tomato paste, stir well then add turmeric powder, garam masala, salt and stir well again.
- - Add vegetable broth and lentils, and bring to boil.
- - Lower heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- - Turn off the heat, add cilantro and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
- serve hot or cold with lemon wedges.