Jason’s turn.

red lentil dal with cilantro and jalapeño raita
Photography by Matt Hocking

Tomato dal with cilantro raita

For dal:

  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs cumin seed, whole
  • 1 tbs mustard seed, whole
  • 1 tbs coriander seed, whole
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tap ground ginger
  • 2 cups red lentils (see note at end of recipe)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups canned tomatoes, San Marzano if you can find them
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Apple cider vinegar

For raita:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 clove garlic, mashed into a paste with salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbs chopped mint
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced


  • Make dal: Melt butter in a 3 qt sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until beginning to brown on edges. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds until fragrant. Add cumin, mustard and coriander seeds. Cook until mustard seeds begin to pop.
  • Add ginger, turmeric and lentils. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes to toast lentils. Add salt, tomatoes and stock. Stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook until liquid is absorbed and lentils break down and become creamy, about 30-45 minutes longer.
  • While lentils cook, make the raita. Place yogurt in a fine mesh strainer for cheese cloth and drain until thick, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle garlic with coarse salt and mash into a paste. Stir garlic, cilantro, mint and jalapeño into yogurt. Season with salt to taste.
  • When lentils have absorbed the liquid and are creamy, season to taste with salt, pepper and a splash of cider vinegar. Serve dal with a healthy dollop of raita.
  • NOTE on the lentils: Red, green or brown lentils will all work well. The red lentils will break down and get creamy. Brown and green lentils will stay firmer and require more liquid to cook. Use 6 cups of stock for brown and green lentils.

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