Easy Dal for a Busy Gal

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I know…it doesn’t really rhyme, but…

Yeah-long time no post. But I have an excuse! I wish it was an exciting excuse though. I’m pretty dull so it’s just general busyness. But crazy busyness. Psycho busyness. Ready to chain myself to my desk busy. You see, I’m away all next week and am preparing for that at work. My job is pretty specific so no one at my office can do my actual work while I’m gone so I have to double-time it all week. That’s like hammertime but without genie pants. I’ve barely even remembered I’m going on a vacation next week. A real, honest to god vacation, and not Cleveland (not to knock Cleveland, but I feel like that’s where I go every time I leave New York.) But that equals too much work to do and not enough time to blog. And not enough time to cook.

I knew this was coming thought so I prepared myself. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be too exhausted every evening to cook after such crazy days. And I was right. Every single night this week I’ve been strolling in fairly late physically and emotionally exhausted (I actually cried one day at work this week) and the last thing I’ve wanted to do is cook. Take out is just not an option for me, so I did some quick cooking on Sunday to take care of this. Quick and yummy. Really yummy. Really really really yummy. Oh-and cheap. So I went with a go-to which, for some reason, I’ve never posted. And if you read my awesome and super-witty title of this post, you’ll know I made dal! But, alas, not (entirely) my own recipe. I stole the recipe from the lovely Lindsay for her crazy delish red lentil dal.

Now, we all already know I love lentils so when I first saw her recipe I knew I had to make it. It was amazing and spicy and flavorful and perfect the first time and the second time and the third time. I knew it would be the perfect comforting and warming dinner waiting for me when I came home exhausted from work. And it was. It was something to look forward to during my hard days at work this week. I got excited for it every night, even after eating it day after day. And that is what good food should do. You should be excited to eat it and look forward to it. It should make you happy and lift your spirits. I truly love food and needed something to achieve all these things this week to help me through a rough one. And this dal did it. I think it’s a great recipe…one that is perfect for rough weeks at work.

Oh-and it’s easy to make! I threw it together on Sunday night in about 15 minutes, let it summer for about 45 more and there you go. Dinner for 4 nights (well-it really makes 2 good sized portions and I’ve been eating small portions along with some veggies each night). Voila. I followed the original recipe basically to a T but changed the spice combo according to what I had. I had no garam masala or tumeric but lots of some generic yellow curry (which is actually a really good combo that I got at an Indian grocer) so I used lots of that as a replacement. I’m assuming Lindsay’s original was a bit sweeter with the garam masala but I liked my dish as is. And the red lentils are so good and different. I had never used red lentils before I tried this recipe. But because they’re so small they don’t really hold their shape well and basically led to a thick spicy stew with lots of body. I’m now a huge fan…a shrine to red lentils and dal coming soon?? Possibly.

By the way…I’m so exhausted that I’m pretty much not quite sure what I just wrote. Congrats if you can make a cohesive thought out of my post.

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Red Lentil Dal

1/2 cup red lentils
2 cups veggie broth
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup chopped tomatoes and juice (I used a box)
1/2 can tomato paste
1 tablespoon coriander
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon spicy red curry
2 teaspoons good yellow curry
salt and pepper
olive oil

Saute the onions and garlic in a little olive oil over fairly low heat in a dutch oven or large pot. You don’t want these to turn but you want them to cook all the way through. Stir pretty regularly to ensure even cooking. Once onions and garlic is cooked through add all the spices except the coriander. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes. If it gets too dry, add a tad bit of water. Once those 2 minutes are up, add all the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, turn heat to low, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until lentils are cooked. Make sure you taste it to make sure the spices and heat is to your liking. I almost always add more spices halfway through (I like my food crazy flavorful) so you might want to as well. Once it’s finished cooking, start to construct your shrine to red lentils and dal. You’re welcome.

34 Responses to “Easy Dal for a Busy Gal”


  1. 1 Alice (in Veganland) May 23, 2008 at 2:34 am

    I think it rhymes!
    You’re right: you know that a meal is perfect if you can eat it a whole week everyday and enjoy it every time!
    Sorry for the busy week, but you will be on holidays next week!

  2. 2 healthyceliac May 23, 2008 at 5:52 am

    I am SO that girl who makes enough food to last days. Some people hate leftovers, but not me. I practically live off of them, so I think this recipe might be right up my alley! And, no worries, your post made perfect sense, at least to me🙂

    Your posts about running definitely make me miss NYC. I lived there through grad school and my first two years of teaching (not to mention that I grew up about an hour train ride away). I miss NYC so much, and totally plan on moving back in a year or so. I ran almost every day around there, which people here in Virginia find remarkable. They cannot imagine how running and a city mix. It’s like their vision of running only involves a track or a treadmill!

  3. 3 lindzakins921 May 23, 2008 at 6:16 am

    Awww I’m sorry to hear you’ve been crazy busy & stressed… I’ve had days where you just want to cry at the end of it so I feel your pain!!! At least you get to get away for a week, so I hope you get to enjoy it😉

  4. 4 Romina May 23, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Lindsay’s Dal pretty much rocks my socks. It’s so simple and delicious!

  5. 5 VeggieGirl May 23, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Welcome back to posting!! I understand your busyness, and I do hope that you can fully relax soon, Betsy!! And if you DO end up coming to Cleveland, PLEASE let me know, since I’m there (err, here) :0)

    In the meantime, keep enjoying Lindsay’s exceptional dal!!

  6. 6 winningfriendswithsalad May 23, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Betsy – did you see my response to your comment?🙂

  7. 7 arielle May 23, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    I thought it rhymed until you said it didn’t. I’m quite cultured. Have fun on your vacation!

  8. 8 Jenn May 24, 2008 at 1:27 am

    So I’ve tagged you on my blog – I don’t know if you’ve been tagged before, but if not…you’re it!!

  9. 9 Jenny May 24, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    I really like dal AND your blog and can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    Speaking of sharing, I tagged you in that meme thing. The five things one? Yeah. I’m sorry.

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  1. 1 Happy Herbivore » Blog Archive » Red Lentil Dal, Saag & Aloo Trackback on December 8, 2008 at 7:15 pm
  2. 2 Easy dal | Superstartrave Trackback on October 25, 2012 at 6:49 am

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