Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions, Brown Basmati Rice, and Roasted Cauliflower

By Jennifer

Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions, Brown Basmati Rice, and Roasted Cauliflower

I suggest doubling the dal and freezing half for another night.  To make the most of your time, start the rice first;  get the dal cooking;  preheat the oven;  char the onions;  and about halfway through the dal cooking time, put the cauliflower in the oven.

Serves 4 adults.

Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions – adapted from Cooking Light

Red lentil dal

  • 1 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and then cut into 1/4” thick slices
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 TBS minced peeled fresh ginger (from 2” piece of ginger)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice from 1/2 a lime

Spices to roast in pan

In a small saucepan, heat the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and clove over medium heat until fragrant.

Spices, roasted, ready to grind

In a clean coffee or spice grinder, combine the seeds and the remaining spices (coriander through cardamom)

and pulse until ground.

Garlic and ginger in the pot (I am doubling the recipe)

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Adding spices

Add the spices to the pot and stir for a minute.

Adding red lentils

Add the lentils, broth and tomatoes with their juice.  Bring to a boil;  cover and lower the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tsp. of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

Sliced onions in pan

Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally,

Onions, charred

until they are charred (blackened, but not super burnt).

Let cool, then transfer them to a cutting board and chop.

When the dal is finished cooking, add the onions, cilantro and lime juice.  Serve over basmati rice.

Red lentil dal

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 TBS olive oil
  • sea salt

Cauliflower, ready to roast

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Toss the cauliflower and olive oil together on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with sea salt.  Roast until the cauliflower is tender and slightly browned, stirring once, about 15 – 20 minutes.

Cauliflower, roasted


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