Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Hearty Indian lentil stew, finished with a tadka--sizzling spices. Instead of giving amounts for the tadka, I've assumed you'll eyeball it, since you'll want to have it fresh each time you heat up a serving of dal. You'll want hulled, split mung beans. If you can't find those, substitute red lentils. Soaking is definitely optional.
Serves: 6
For the dal:
  • Salt
  • 2 cups mung beans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
For the tadka:
  • Coconut oil
  • Minced garlic
  • Pinch each of: whole cumin, fennel, mustard, and/or coriander seeds
To finish:
  • Yogurt (optional)
Make the dal:
  1. Soak the mung beans in plenty of water and 2 teaspoons of salt for 2 hours (if you have time; if not, skip this step). Drain the beans well.
  2. Place the coconut oil in a stockpot with a lid and set over medium heat. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt, and as soon as it begins to sizzle, cover the pot and turn to medium-low. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent. Don't let them brown.
  3. Remove the lid, raise the heat to medium-high, and add the cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beans and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Then, lower the heat so the dal just barely simmers. Cook for about 40 minutes, until the dal is thick and the texture is consistent--you'll see the shapes of the beans, but just barely. If you're making the dal ahead, cool, then transfer to the fridge. You might need a little water when you reheat.
Make the tadka:
  1. Put the garlic in one small bowl, and combine all the seeds you're using in in another one. Everything's going to happen really fast from here on out, so be ready! Grab a frying pan, and a lid that will rest on top even if it doesn't fit perfectly.
  2. Set the frying pan on high heat for about 5 minutes, until very hot. While the pan is heating, ladle your soup into a bowl and keep it by the stove. Add enough coconut oil to generously film the bottom. Then, add the seeds to the frying pan and immediately cover the pan. Cook, shaking the pan, for about 30 seconds, until the seeds stop popping. Uncover, add the garlic, and remove the pan from the heat, continuing to stir, just until the garlic is golden--this could be as quick as 10 seconds. Immediately pour all of the tadka over the portion of soup. Top with yogurt, if you'd like.
Recipe by Big Girls Small Kitchen at http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/2015/09/dal.html