This easy vegan dal recipe is just what you need when you’re craving comfort food. There’s something about the earthy flavour of yellow lentils that will give you a warm, fuzzy feeling.
This easy vegan dal only takes 10 minutes of prep time and is great for a quick weeknight dinner on a brisk autumn evening. Serve with flat bread and rice and you’ve got yourself a satisfying fiber- and protein-rich dish that will definitely fill you up!
I’ve been craving a good dal for a while now and I’m surprised with myself for not making it sooner. Even more surprised was my husband when he learned for the first time that yellow lentils exist. Indian food is definitely not as popular in Spain as it is elsewhere and I’ve slowly been introducing him to some of my Indian-inspired recipes.
So I made a trip downtown to the Asian supermarket and came back with a bag of moong dal to show him and to make this easy vegan dal recipe. (I haven’t shown him red lentils yet, it’ll probably blow his mind!)
If you’re also new to dal and wondering how to cook yellow lentils, it’s easy! They don’t need to be soaked first and cook much quicker from dried than beans.
Simply rinse them in fresh water and chuck them in a pot, cover with water and simmer over low heat for 30 – 45 minutes until they’re soft. And if you’ve got a pressure cooker, they’ll be done in no time.
Just as the lentils are finishing up cooking you can prepare your spiced oil, called tarka or tadka, to give all the yummy deliciousness to your yellow lentils. Here’s where it gets complicated as every cook does it differently and you can look at a million recipes and never see the same spice combination. So feel free to experiment or change things up according to whatever you’ve got on hand in your spice rack.
This easy vegan dal recipe is totally adaptable to your tastes. Add some tomatoes for a bit of sweetness or spinach (or other leafy green) for some extra iron. The consistency of your dal is also up to you. Adjust the amount of water to make it as thin as a soup or as thick as porridge.
Serve it as a side dish (would be great with a sandwich) or a main dish with flatbread or rice. The variations are endless and I’m sure this easy vegan dal recipe is one you’ll be making again and again!
- ¾ cup (200 grams) yellow lentils / moong dal
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 small, spicy green chili peppers, one chopped and one whole with a slit cut in it
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- 1/3 teaspoon turmeric
- Rinse the lentils until the water runs clear. Put them in a pot with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Skim the foam off the top and reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until soft – 30 to 40 minutes. Whisk the lentils to break them up a bit and get a creamy consistency.
- Just before the lentils are finished cooking, heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and fry, stirring, for a minute or until the cumin seeds darken in colour slightly and start to crackle and pop. Add the onion and fry until transparent then add the ginger, garlic and chili peppers and fry until soft.
- Turn off the heat and add the remaining spices. Use the residual heat in the pan to cook the spices, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the yellow lentils to the pan and mix well. You can add more water if you like it thinner or put it back on the heat to reduce it to thicker.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1006mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 8gSugar: 5gProtein: 9g