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  • Becky M


Traditional Indian dal comes in many varieties. This particular recipe is an Indian-Iraqi crossover that was adopted by my mother-in-law, Nina (pictured above), while growing up in Bahrain. Dal is versatile and can be served as a vegetarian main course, a side with meat or enjoyed with rice or naan. I usually have all ingredients on hand and find myself making a pot of dal with a moments notice. Dal can also be spicy or mild depending on the preference. Eggs are optional, but add more protein to the meal if savoring as a main course. Thank goodness for versatile recipes like dal!

Serves 8


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

½ cup tomato,chopped

3-4 tablespoon tomato paste, (or 6 oz. can)

salt & pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon curry or garam marsala

dash chili powder, as desired

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

3-4 shelled hardboiled eggs, optional


1. In a medium saucepan, fry onion and tomato in a small amount of olive oil until brown and soft. Turn heat to low and stir tomato paste, salt, pepper, curry and chili powder into the onion.

2. While the onion is cooking, fill a medium saucepan 2/3 full with water and add red lentils. Boil lentils until tender leaving a small amount of water in pan. Don't worry if there there is too much water, the water will add to the sauce of the dal. Add lentils and water to the onion mixture, stirring to combine all ingredients.

3. Add olive oil to a small frying pan and lightly sauce the minced garlic until golden. Remove from flame and stir cumin into garlic. Add the garlic/cumin mixture into lentils. Stir well and heat on a low flame to combine flavors for 10 minutes. For additional protein, add whole hardboiled eggs to dal and continue to warm for 5 minutes.

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