Recipe: Red Lentil Dal

Lentils are a fabulous food. Like all legumes, they are rich in soluble fiber, heart-friendly B vitamins, and are a wonderful source of cholesterol-free protein. However, unlike their cousins, they require no soaking time nor do they cause as much gas as many other beans! This Indian inspired dish tastes wonderful over a brown basmati rice or folded into a tortilla with some crunchy veggies. If you do not feel like pulling out your blender or Vitamix, add extra broth or water at the onset of cooking, leave the lentils whole and enjoy a lovely Indian Lentil soup.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño chili, seeded, chopped

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup onion and 1 minced garlic clove and sauté until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Combine 3 cups water, lentils, remaining 1 cup onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, turmeric, cumin and ginger in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer half of lentil mixture to Vitamix; purée until smooth. Return purée to same saucepan. Mix in sautéed onion mixture. Simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon rice into bowls. Spoon dal over rice. Top with tomatoes, cilantro and chili.
Per serving: calories, 410; total fat, 5 g; protein, 18g; fiber, 9g; cholesterol, 0. Serves 4.

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