Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions
Red lentil dal is a traditional Indian comfort food that gets added texture and flavor here from smoky charred onions.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ 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
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  1. 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.
  2. Combine the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook for 1½ 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe
Recipe by Joanne Eats Well With Others at