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The Best Dal Ever by Dada Eats

Cozy and nourishing dal made with yellow moong dal, warming spices, creamy coconut milk and a boost of veggies from fresh spinach. This beautiful dal recipe is packed with plant-based protein and fiber for the perfect, satisfying meal!

Course Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Lunch, Vegan, Vegetarian
Cuisine Indian
Keyword dal recipe, yellow lentil dal
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 429 kcal
Author Monique Volz of AmbitiousKitchen.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yellow moong dal or red split lentils
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 (2-inch) knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced or crushed tomatoes with their juices
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can reduced fat coconut milk (or feel free to use full-fat if you prefer a richer dal)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • To garnish:
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, for garnish
  • For serving:
  • Naan, flatbread, quinoa, or rice for serving

Instructions

  1. Place the lentils in a medium bowl and cover them with water. Wash the lentils with your hand, tip out the water, and repeat this process until the water runs clear. Cover the lentils with fresh water and soak 30 minutes to 1 hour (this will allow them to cook faster).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. When it begins to shimmer, add the onions, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until they start to become tender and translucent. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook with the onions for an additional 2 to 3 minutes until everything starts to brown slightly.
  3. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt and black pepper. Roast the masala for 2 to 3 minutes until it smells aromatic and darkens in color.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook until it deepens in color, 1 to 2 minutes. Now pour in the tomatoes. Continue to cook until the tomatoes reduce slightly, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add the coconut milk and vegetable broth to the pot. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Now add the drained lentils. Cover the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the curry is thick. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts.
  7. Add the lemon juice and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, so the dal continues to thicken and become luscious. Feel free to simmer further to reach your desired consistency. Taste again and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  8. Garnish the dal with chopped cilantro and serve with naan, flatbread, quinoa, or rice.

Recipe Notes

To store: store this creamy dal in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Feel free to reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop!

To freeze: let the dal completely cool and then transfer it to a freezer-safe container (or multiple containers for meal prep purposes). Freeze for up to 2 months. To reheat, first let it thaw in the refrigerator, then heat it in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Nutrition Facts
The Best Dal Ever by Dada Eats
Amount Per Serving (1 serving (based on 4))
Calories 429 Calories from Fat 193
% Daily Value*
Fat 21.4g33%
Saturated Fat 11.2g70%
Carbohydrates 44.5g15%
Fiber 10.1g42%
Sugar 6.1g7%
Protein 15.7g31%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.