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Indian Dal

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July 29, 2014 | Issue 515

Indian Dal

Indian Dal with
Yogurt and Cucumbers

Dal is a flavorful Indian lentil dish that pairs nicely with cool summer cucumbers and a fresh dill yogurt. Red lentils cook quickly and they pack 16 g of fiber and 18 g of protein in each cup. Garam masala is a blend of spices and varies by region. A typical Indian version combines cardamom, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cloves. Research is currently looking at the anti-inflammatory properties of these spices.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 260 calories, 5 g total fat, (0 g saturated fat),
40 g carbohydrate, 15 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 135 mg sodium.

  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. garam masala *
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
 
  • 3 cups hot water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped seeded cucumber
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions, green part only
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 4 Tbsp. reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 whole-wheat pita breads, warmed

*Note: If you do not have garam masala, use 1/2 tsp. each ground cardamom, coriander and cumin, 1/4 tsp. each ground cinnamon and black pepper, and 1/8 tsp. ground cloves.

Directions

  1. In large bowl, place lentils. Fill bowl with cold water. Using your fingers, stir lentils 3-4 times, then drain. Repeat 2-3 times, until water runs nearly clear when drained. Transfer lentils to large saucepan. Add onion, garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin and oil. Stir to coat ingredients with oil.
  2. Set saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until spices are fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add hot water, bring to boil, cover, and simmer until lentils are soft, 20 minutes; dal will thicken as it cools. Uncover and pour dal into wide, shallow bowl. Set aside until lukewarm, 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
  3. To serve, divide dal among 4 small soup bowls. Top each with one-fourth of cucumber, scallions and dill, plus 1 tablespoon yogurt. Cut pitas into 6 wedges. Set each bowl on dinner plate, surround with pita wedges and serve.
  4. If desired, dal can be covered and refrigerated up to 3 days. Before serving, warm in microwave or in covered pot over medium heat, stirring often.

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Grocery list

Red lentils
Onion
Garlic
Ginger
Garam masala
Cumin
Canola oil
Cucumber
Scallions
Fresh dill
Reduced-fat Greek yogurt
Whole-wheat pita bread

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Did You Know?

Plant foods rich in dietary fiber help protect against cancer, specifically colorectal cancer, as well as other chronic diseases. 30 grams is a good daily goal that red lentils can help you meet.

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