Southeast Asian Kitchen: Dhal
Southeast Asian Kitchen is a Tablecrafter series on cooking dishes inspired by the different regional cuisines in Southeast Asia.
The eponymous Indian lentil stew combines the richness of coconut milk and robust spices used in the region. Usually paired with the roti canai or steamed rice, its complexity shines through in every meal. Everyday ingredients coupled with intense aromatic spices combine to make the flavorful vegetarian fare. Don't let its lack of conventional protein sources let you think that this dish lacks substance. These lentils contain a respectable amount of protein for everyday fare.
Yield: 3 cups, estimated
Time: 50 minutes (10 min prep / 40 min cooking)
- 1 cup red lentils, picked through
- 1 white onion, minced
- 3 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp chili powder, optional
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1½ cups water or vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Sauté the onions over medium heat with the vegetable oil until translucent, about four minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.
- Add the tomatoes and spices. Stir for three minutes.
- Pour in the coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add more liquid if necessary. Serve with roti canai or white rice.
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