Easy Lentil Dhal

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Dhal is an inexpensive and exotic dish that can help put some money back into your pocketbook while tasting delicious. It comes from India and is completely vegan. This recipe will serve four people, but it could be easily doubled and put back for lunches for the next day. Once you learn how to make dhal it becomes a simple almost second nature recipe that you can whip up in a matter of minutes.


  • 8 oz. red lentils
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • coriander


  1. Get a 2-quart pot with exactly 27 ounces of water and place it over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the red lentils to the water.
  3. While waiting for the lentils to boil, finely chop up one onion.
  4. Place a pan on a second burner with the sunflower oil and turn the heat to medium-high.
  5. Add the diced onions. Add the cumin.
  6. Check the lentils. Once they have begun to boil, skim off any scum from the top.
  7. Add turmeric and salt to the lentils. Stir well. Turn the heat on low and continue to cook the lentils until they become thick like a soup. This should take approximately 15 minutes.
  8. Once the onions are caramelized and have turned a golden-brown color, add them to the soupy lentils but do not stir.
  9. Cover the lentil pan. Cook for an additional 5 minutes on low to allow the onions to permeate the lentils.
  10. Stir well and turn off the heat.
  11. Serve warm in a bowl. Fresh coriander should be chopped and sprinkled on top of the meal as a garnish.


  • Dhal can be made with any color lentil. Common browned lentils, or even green lentils, will make a lovely dish.
  • Sunflower oil may be difficult to obtain, alternative oils include avocado oil and coconut oil.
  • The coriander garnish is optional.
  • Dhal goes well with naan bread which is a traditional Indian bread. Naan bread is a flatbread that can be cooked in the skillet immediately after cooking the onions. To make naan bread use 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, One Cup of plain yogurt, two teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Mix the ingredients in the bowl and knead until it creates a sticky ball. Divide into six even pieces and roll out into circular flatbread. Cook in the frying pan until hot with golden spots. This bread is best used on the same day that it is cooked. Naan bread can be saved overnight in an airtight container on a kitchen counter.
  • Dhal can be saved in an airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator. It can also be batch cooked and frozen for up to six months in a deep freeze.


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