This one-pot recipe is an easy winter warmer.
Warm yourself with dal, a flavorful Indian stew made with lentils. Feeling fancy? Top your serving with lemon slices, cilantro, mint, and crispy garlic chips. Or keep it simple with a squeeze of lemon or a dollop of plain low-fat yogurt.
If you use a pressure cooker, your dal will be ready in about 30 minutes, but this recipe can also be made on the stovetop in a large pot or Dutch oven.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian
- 1 cup split red lentils
- 5-6 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped (about 1½ cups)
- 2 large ripe tomatoes (about 1 pound), cored and chopped
- 2-3 halved green chiles, such as serrano or jalapeño
- 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Fine sea salt
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves
- 4 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 lemon or lime, thinly sliced
- Combine lentils, 5 cups broth, red onion, tomatoes, chiles, ginger, turmeric, coriander, and cumin in the inner pot of the pressure cooker (if you don’t have a pressure cooker, see stovetop directions below). Lock on the lid. Pressure Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Release the steam naturally (about 15 minutes). Open the lid and check. Lentils should be falling apart.
- If you’re topping with garlic chips, thinly slice garlic. In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, cook the garlic. Stir often and adjust heat to avoid burning. Cook until garlic is crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a paper towel to drain.
- Taste dal and adjust the consistency with the remaining 1 cup broth, warmed, according to your liking. Stir in the lemon juice.
- Spoon dal into bowls. Top with garlic chips and cilantro, mint, or lemon slices.
No pressure cooker? No problem. To make red lentil dal in a Dutch oven or large pot, cook the red onion, chiles, ginger, turmeric, coriander, and cumin in 1 tablespoon of oil over low heat until fragrant. Add lentils, 5 cups broth, and tomatoes. Cover and simmer over low heat until lentils break down, about 30 minutes. Continue with step 2, above.
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Photographer: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Sarah Copeland and Chris Lanier