Split red lentils are the quickest lentils to cook since they have been de-hulled. They’re a great go-to legume for a warming, vegetarian stew on a cold, damp day. Sometimes I make red lentil dahl with butter, olive oil, chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock for richness, and sometimes I use coconut milk. This week I used coconut milk. Ghee and coconut oil are other good flavorful fat options.
I used an approximate amount of water when I made this recipe, so the end result was a little soupier than dahl. However, I looked up the liquid to split red lentil ratio in a few dahl recipes and they all said 3 to 1. That is the ratio I put in the recipe below and will cook with in the future.
1 knob butter (or 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil)
1 small onion
2 stalks celery, diced small
1 1/2 medium carrots, diced small
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 1/2 cups split red lentils (rinsed and drained)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
3 cups water
1 tbsp maple syrup (or other sweetener)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or a few squirts of lemon juice)
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 1/2 to 2 tsp hot curry powder (Gathering Place makes a fantastic organic one)
shoyu to taste (or other salty condiment of choice)
- Make rice. Brown jasmine or brown basmati are quite tasty and aromatic. I like to cook mine with a bit of butter and salt.
- Melt some butter in a 4 liter saucepan. Add chopped onion. Let it soften (about 2 minutes). Add chopped celery and carrots. Add a bit of extra butter and a dash of water and let soften 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in fennel and cumin seeds and let everything gently fry 1 or 2 more minutes.
- Add water, coconut milk and lentils. Stir, cover and let ingredients come to a boil (I usually uncover the pot a bit before the broth starts boiling to prevent the liquid from boiling over). When the broth comes to a boil, lower heat so that it boils gently and cover pot for 20 minutes.
- Stir. Are lentils soft? If no, let them continue to boil gently until they are. If yes, add vinegar, maple syrup and salt. Let boil gently uncovered for 5 minutes. Add grated ginger and curry powder. Remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes.
- Serve in a bowl over rice and top with cilantro.