Our typical Indian lentil dish is on the regular menu rotation at our house these days. It is another healthy vegetarian meal, and one that I can sneak other veggies into pretty easily. This is how we cook lentils most often, and this dish has really grown on me a lot. I used to think it was just “ok” because I am not a huge fan of turmeric, and lentils were weird to me the first few times. But now I actually look forward to cooking this meal. The best part is the homemade naan bread. It is worth the splurge to have the fresh bread (with Sabra garlic hummus!) with this dish.
This meal takes a long time to cook. I usually start the naan dough about 3 hours before dinner time, and start chopping the ingredients about 2 hours before dinner. It takes about an hour and a half total cooking time.
Warning: Do not use a teal serving spoon in this. The turmeric will stain it a weird green color. This is now my official lentil spoon. Lol. Stick with black or metal spoons and don’t use plastic dishes you care about for serving/storing either.
Makes a lot, probably 6 bowls.
Spray of oil
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried lentils
5-6 cups water
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 jalapeno finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp coriander, ground
1-2 kohlrabi roots, diced (optional)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced (optional)
fresh cilantro, chopped
- Heat oil in a very large pan with a lid and add the onions. Cook a few minutes, then add the cumin. Cook about 15 minutes until onions are very soft.
- Add garlic and jalapeno (and bell pepper and/or kohlrabi or other veggies) and continue to saute about 5 more minutes.
- Add tomatoes, ginger, and turmeric and cook another few minutes.
- Rinse Dal thoroughly and add to the mixture in the pan.
Add 3 cups of hot water, close the pot with a lid and let it cook.
- Check every 10 minutes to stir and add more water as needed. We usually end up adding the full 6 cups of water, and it needs to cook a total of at least 45 minutes.The lentils should be so soft that the mixture becomes very thick and creamy.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with naan bread and hummus on the side.
Lighter Naan Bread
2-3 cups of All Purpose flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of baking soda
2 tablespoons of fat free plain yogurt, room temperature
2 tablespoons skim milk or almond milk, room temperature
2/3 cup lukewarm water
- Mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a cup and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix 2 cups of flour with the salt and pinch of baking powder.
- When yeast mixture is ready, add it along with the milk and yogurt to the flour.
- Kneed it all together and continue adding up to 1 more cup of flour if it’s too sticky.
- In a large mixing bowl, put a little olive oil in the bottom. When the dough stays in a nice ball, add it to the bowl and flip it over so both sides are lightly covered with oil. Cover and let rise at least one hour.
- When doubled in size, split the dough into 10 small balls and let sit while oven and pizza stone preheat to 500 degrees.
- Roll out each dough ball into a flat circle. Cook on the pizza stone about 2 minutes, turning on broil for about half the time.
- When you pull out the naan, lightly brush with melted light butter.
- Wrap up the bread in foil to keep warm while the rest of the batch cooks.