Adapted from Milk Street‘s recipe for Goan lentil curry (masoor dal). If you subscribe to their newsletter, you’ll get this recipe along with this one (Lightning Fast Sichuan Noodles with Chilies and Scallions) and 10 other enticing ones for free.
If you like video guidance, I made this in Instagram Stories.
I’ve made a few small changes:
- In place of fennel, I’ve used cumin. The two spices are not similar, but I like cumin, and I like cumin in curries. You could certainly use both.
- I like to toast the cumin and coriander seeds and grind them in a mortar and pestle, but using pre-ground spices is fine.
- I like to use two kinds of lentils: French green lentils, which hold their shape, and red lentils, which break down. You certainly could use all red, which is what the recipe calls for.
- I’ve use kale in place of spinach.
- I omit the coconut and tomato garnish.
Don’t be afraid to make this ahead of time — it’s even tastier on day two. Recipe doubles well, too.
If you like even more spice, check out Cal Peternell’s Dal recipe.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or peanut oil (or olive oil)
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped, to yield 1-1.5 cups
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons yellow or brown mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin or fennel
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 31⁄2 cups water
- 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1/2 cup French green lentils
- 6 ounces kale (or baby spinach), about 6 cups, leaves removed from stems, roughly chopped
- fresh lime, for serving, optional
- In a large pot over medium-high, combine the oil, onion, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt. When you hear a sizzle, cover the pot, turn heat to low, and cook, stirring every so often, until the onion has softened and is just beginning to color, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the ginger, the mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander, fennel and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the water, coconut milk, lentils, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, then bring to a boil. Reduce to low, cover and simmer, stirring once or twice, until the lentils have broken down, 40 to 50 minutes.
- Stir in the kale and return to a simmer. Taste and season with salt if desired. Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate for a future day — it’s good cold straight from the fridge.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: lentils, curry, coconut milk, Indian, vegan, vegetarian, kale, masoor dal, Goan