Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions
Entrées,  Gluten Free,  Recipes,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions

I saw this over on Joanne’s blog last week and knew that I wanted to make it. What a wonderful combination of flavors! I had to check a few different stores before I was able to track down red lentils, but now I know where to get them. This was really fragrant and comforting to eat. I served it over basmati and seasoned it with a decent amount of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, as well as a few extra squeezes of lime juice at the end. Yum!

Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions

Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions
Eats Well With Others (adapted from Cooking Light: The New Way to Cook Light)

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1 small dried hot red chile pepper
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dried red lentils
14 oz canned diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp oil to the pan and swirl it to coat. Add onion to the pan and cook for 2 minutes or until charred. Carefully turn over the onion and cook 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Coarsely chop and set aside.

Combine the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Place these seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, and the chile in a spice or coffee grinder and pulse until ground.

Heat a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 tsp oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the ginger and garlic to the pot and saute 1 minute. Stir in the spice mixture and saute 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add the broth, lentils, and tomatoes to the pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and add onion. Cook 10 minutes more. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice.

Big Flavors Rating: 4 Stars

Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


  • donkey and the carrot

    Hello Ashley! This one looks so comforting and delicious at the same time! Not to mention healthy!We call that similar dish, FAKORYZO in Greece and it is a health bomb!Loved the multi spices! Great idea, maybe i’ll try it after the tone of ironing!

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