Black Lentil Dal

While mine doesn’t look quite as pretty as Deb’s, it still tasted quite good! Via Smitten Kitchen.


  • 2 tablespoons oil, butter (regular or ghee)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional but traditional)
  • Ground chile powder, to taste (I started with a 1/2 teaspoon, but I have to keep things weak for kids) [cayenne, for ex]
  • 1 cup finely chopped or pureed tomatoes, fresh or from a can
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup dried black lentils
  • 4 1/2 cups water, plus more to taste


  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Handful chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Make the dal: Heat oil (or oil and butter) over medium. Once hot, add onion and cumin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion browned in spots.
  2. Add garlic and ginger, cook for 1 minute more, then the rest of spices, cook, tomato, cook for 3 minutes more, scraping up any stuck bits.
  3. Add water and salt, then lentils.
  4. Bring to simmer, then reduce to low and cover and cook until lentils are tender, between 35 and 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. For a looser dal, you can add more water. Adjust spices and seasonings to taste.
  5. To finish: Ladle into four bowls. Place a 1-teaspoon pat of butter in the center of each, letting it begin to melt before swirling in 1 1/2 teaspoons cream and finishing with cilantro.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s