Orange Lentil Dal

This is an interesting sounding dish, especially for it’s ease. The fact that she mentions Smitten Kitchen is the winner in my book. 🙂

She took out the butter. I added it back in.

Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main

  • 1 cup split orange lentils
  • 2 tbs canola oil (or other oil with a high smoke point)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cup red onion, diced small
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 3/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (more if you prefer it spicier)
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1T unsalted butter
  • 2 pots
  1. Rinse the lentils and pick out any debris before placing in a medium pot and covering with three cups water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a strong simmer. The lentils will take 10-15 minutes to become tender.
  2. Add the oil to a medium frying pan and place over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the cumin seeds (have a cover or splatter screen at the ready, they may spit at you). After the seeds have stopped cracking, add the onion and cook four minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Add the garlic and continue to stir another three minutes. Add the coriander, turmeric, cayenne and mix into the onion/garlic mixture. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook another two minutes.
  3. Mix the onion/spice mixture into the lentils and add the salt and lemon juice. Cook another five minutes on medium heat to allow the flavors to meld, and serve hot with chopped cilantro if desired. If you have leftovers, they will thicken when cooled. You can add some water to loosen it up when reheating.
  4. The original recipe also calls for 1 tbs. unsalted butter. I prefer to skip this and didn’t miss it, but if you’d like a richer version you may want to add it.

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