Sunday, February 1, 2009

Red Lentil Dal


Total cost for four servings: $5.92
Cost to transform leftovers into 1 soup and 1 dessert: $3.04


One of my absolute favorites. It cooks a lot faster than you would think and it is such an elegant dish. You can adjust the hotness by upping the amounts of spice.
Both the crushed tomatoes and the coconut milk are optional and either or. I usually add neither since the dal is creamy enough without them and use the tomatoes or coconut milk for transforming leftovers of this dish into an amazing soup.

Ingredients by order of importance:

1½ cups red lentils - about $3.29 per pound - for 0.86 lb = $2.83
1 onion - non organic yellow - $0.99 per pound - for 0.56 lb = $0.55
coconut oil - 1 tablespoon = $0.50
½ head garlic - non organic - $0.37 per head = $0.17
curry powder - 1 tablespoon - $15.95 per pound = $0.32
½ teaspoon salt = $0.05
guaram masala - ½ tablespoon - $18.99 per pound = $0.25
ginger, fresh grated - 1 tablespoon - $0.25
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes = $1.29 (optional)
or 1 13 oz coconut milk = $1.99 (optional)


½ pound brown rice, as a side dish - $1.39 per pound = $0.70

¼ tablespoon coconut oil = $0.25
pinch of cardamon = $0.05

1. In a pot wash the rice thoroughly and with about three times its volume in water set to boil.
2. After rinsing the red lentils, set with twice their volume in water and also bring to a boil.
3. Meanwhile, dice the onion and peel the garlic cloves and mix your spice with about 1 ½ cups water.
4. When the lentils are foaming turn off heat and carefully drain in colander in your sink and rinse. Turn down the heat for the rice to a slow simmer.
5. Over low heat melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil and saute the onion until golden. With a cheese grater grate your garlic cloves and add to onion. Keep things moving so nothing sticks. Add pre boiled red lentils and water with dissolved spices. Add another cup of water ( or the crushed tomatoes or the coconut milk instead), salt and grated ginger and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Taste to make sure lentils are very soft. The rice should be done as well by then - taste to make sure it is soft. Drain the rice and mix with ¼ tablespoon coconut oil and a pinch of salt and cardamon.

Serves four with leftovers. Cost: $5.92

Recipe for leftover dal:

Indian soup:


If you have at least 1 cup leftover dal - blend with either the crushed tomatoes or coconut milk to create a stunning velvety soup for lunch or as a starter.

Recipe for leftover rice:

Rice pudding;

2 cups cooked rice leftover
1 can coconut milk $1.99
1 teaspoon vanilla extract $0.25
1 pinch cinnamon $0.05
½ cup agave nectar $0.75

Put all but ½ cup of the rice in blender and blend quickly. Add unblended rice and taste to adjust sweetness.


1 comment:

Jeremy said...

I'm trying this today. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!