Spicy Indian Dal

****Check out the new "Pin it" feature on each of my pictures!  If you hover over the picture, the "Pin It" logo will appear, allowing you to pin any image from this post.  I will continue to do this with all of my future posts.  Thanks to my readers for the suggestion!****

Over the last few months since I have been on a blogging hiatus, I have fallen in love with Indian food.  Locally, we have one of the best Indian restaurants, and we enjoy going there once or twice a month, usually with my parents.  Although they have quite a few vegetarian options, I know that there is a ton of oil/ghee in all of the recipes.  Since I was craving Indian food this Sunday, I decided to make a big batch of Indian spiced lentils. 

2 cups dried mixed lentils (I used 1/3 cup of each pictured)

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can lite coconut milk
2 medium sized tomatoes (or an extra can of diced tomatoes)
1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed (yellow or orange bell peppers work too)
1/2 yellow onion
1 dried red chile, stem and seeds removed
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp ground corriander
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less as desired)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric 

  1. In a large pot, bring the mixed lentils and around 8 cups of water to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and allow the lentils to cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until "al dente".  Pour into a strainer and allow to drain while you prepare the sauce.
  2. In a high speed blender, combine the canned and fresh tomatoes, bell pepper, coconut milk, onion, and chile.  Blend until the creamy and the dried chile has been broken into very small flecks.
  3. Return the empty pot to the stovetop and pour in the tomato sauce mixture you just blended.  Heat over medium heat until simmering and add the spices and cooked lentils back into the pot.  
  4. Simmer until the lentils are thoroughly cooked and the sauce has reduced to become creamy.  Adjust spices to your liking.  (I generally add extra cayenne pepper for some extra heat at the end.)
  5. Serve hot over your preferred grain.  I served mine with mixed quinoa and steamed kale.

Amy's Notes:
I was so excited yesterday (and today) that Kevin was willing to try this dish and actually asked for a bowl or two for himself.  I guess I will have to keep this recipe in my regulars.  ;)

I absolutely LOVE lentils!  They are great to add to soups, salads, you name it.  It is a big plus for me that they cook up relatively quickly without needing any soaking.  I am lucky enough to have a few grocery stores to choose from where I can get all of the varieties below in the bulk section at a relatively decent price. 

What is your favorite way to enjoy lentils?


  1. wish you were linked to pinterest

    1. Lani, Thanks for the suggestion. I finally did my homework and was able to add a "Pin It" function to all of my images. If you hover over the image, the Pin it button will appear in the top left corner. Thanks for reading! :)

  2. LOVING the new pinterest function! and this recipe looks so delicious - can't wait to try it :-)

  3. I'm going to make this this week. I'll let you know how it turns out.

  4. OMG!!! Made this today, and it is seriously delicious! Thank you for another great recipe.

    1. Thanks so much Dena! I just can't get enough of those Indian food flavors and spices!