Red Lentil Dal (vegan)

When writers block and kitchen flubs occur in the same week it makes it very difficult to post any new recipes.  Last night finally changed all that.  My kitchen woes of the past few days all dissolved over a delicious pot of dal.  So simple, yummy, and finally something worthy to be blog about!

Indian dishes have always played a key role in my cooking, and for the longest time Dal has somehow eluded me.  Lentils can be fickle creatures, but alas I have finally figured them out (at least red lentils–brown lentils are still on my list of foods to concur).  After several marred attempts at making dal I finally enlisted the help of my best friend, and her amazing mother’s Dal recipe.  After listening to a few quick tips I whipped a real pot of dal, and now I am here to share my new-found knowledge with you!

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Red Lentil Dal
Ingredients
1 Tbsp coconut oil
I cup red lentils, rinsed in cold water and picked over
3 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, drained (fire roasted if you can find them)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp chili paste
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot combine rinsed lentils, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil, over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and allow lentils to cook for 20-30 minutes until lentils begin to lose their shape.

After lentils have cooked for at least 20 minutes you can begin on the remainder of your ingredients.  In a small saute pan heat oil, add cumin seeds.  When the cumin seeds stop jumping, after about 1-2 minutes add onion and garlic.  Saute for 8-10 minutes.  Add spices to the onion mixture and cook for 1 minute more.

Add onion mixture and drained tomatoes to the lentils.  Allow everything to cook for 5 minutes more.  The lentils should cook for a total of 30-40 minutes so that they reach the proper consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
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Serve with basmati rice, luchi, or naan, enjoy!

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