Thursday, October 9, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Dal Curry

Over girl's weekend, at the end of September, we went out for Indian take-away at Abhiruchi in Beaverton.

Quite simply,  Dal (or sometimes Dhal) Curry is delightful!  Dal is the Indian word for lentils. The word derives from the Sanskrit verbal root dal - "to split" and is sometimes referred to generically as a "dal bean".   

The best kind to use for this recipe is red split lentils which you can most likely find at any world market (Trader Joe's) or health food store.  Alternatively, use yellow or green (which you can easily find at most grocery stores).

It has an unbelievable nutritional health profile.  It provides an excellent source of protein, particularly for those adopting a vegetarian diet or a diet which does not contain much meat.  It is typically around 25% protein by weight, giving it a comparable protein content to meats.  It's also rich in vitamin B, folic acid as well as minerals iron and zinc.


Dal Curry


8 oz red lentils
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 potatoes, peeled and diced (I prefer Yukon Gold)
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 small red or yellow pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or just use one 8 oz can of tomatoes)
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 cup Basmati rice, cooked
Greek yogurt or sour cream, optional


In a saucepan containing 1 1/2 pints of water, add one teaspoon each of ginger, cumin, turmeric and salt, then bring it all to a boil.

Stir in the lentils, let it come back to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

After that, add the potato and continue cooking until the lentils have turned mushy (making sure that the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan).

While this is cooking, heat up the butter in anther pan and fry up the onion and pepper until browned, then lower the heat and stir in the curry powder, the garlic and the remaining ginger.  Then add the tomatoes and stir to combine.

Cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the lentil mixture, then taste and season with salt.  Continue to gently cook until flavors begin to meld, about 5-10 minutes.  Before serving, stir in cilantro.

Serve with basmati rice and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.

Recipe adapted from Delia Online Cookery School (yes, I think she is British)
Image found on Google Images