Samah Dada
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The Best Dal Ever (aka DADAEATS Coconut Curry Dal)

Okay I’m obsessed with dal. I truly think it one of the most versatile Indian dishes. It’s amazing with rice, with bread, or even alone as, well, a “lentil soup.” Indian dal is basically the OG version of lentil soup right?

My goal this year has been to share more of my healthy Indian recipes with you all. I’m truly so excited by how much interest there’s been so far I my takes on some of the Indian classics. Indian food, especially when home-cooked, can be so healthy and nutritious (despite what many people think and feel after leaving a traditional indian restaurant). What I grew up with on my own dinner table was always filled with plant-based ingredients, plant sources of protein, and little to no dairy or meat. When you think about it, the base of so many Indian dishes is vegetables and/or beans. Think lentils (dal!!), chickpeas  spinach (saag), and eggplant (bhaigan bharta).

As for this particularrecipe, I have had this saved in my phone as “the best dal ever” because I fully did not think that solely naming this dal by what’s in it would do this dish any justice! It’s quickly become one of my favorite recipes to meal-prep for my week, whip up quickly for dinner, or serve to friends along with some basmati rice, quinoa, or naan.


I created this recipe because I wanted to make a creamy dal that was hearty, flavorful, spicy, and comforting. At the same time, I wanted it to feel energizing and light, with loads of the healthy spices that are used in Indian cooking (cue turmeric, cayenne, cumin, and coriander) but without the cream or butter.

This recipe is completely vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free! It's made to be super thick and creamy with a bit of coconut milk and diced tomatoes. I love the fact that I was able to sneak some spinach in here as well. It’s a powerhouse of a meal, especially with a nice dose of plant-based protein from the lentils.

This is one of those recipes that I am just SO excited to share with you all. I know you’re going to love it. When you make it, tag me Instagram @DADAEATS and #DADAEATS so I can see your creations!

Enjoy!!

Ingredients//

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 3-inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup yellow moong dal or red lentils
  • 1 13 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 15.5 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • pepper
  • salt
  • cilantro, to garnish
  • naan, flatbread, bread, quinoa, rice, to serve

Instructions//

  1. Rinse lentils and soak for 30 minutes (this will allow them to cook faster)!
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions, ginger, garlic, and stir-fry until onions are slightly browned and translucent.
  3. Add salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Stir-fry in order to roast the masala so you get a nice aroma, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add can of diced tomatoes and 1 tsp tomato paste. Continue to cook until masala spices have infused with the tomatoes. Season again with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Add coconut milk and vegetable broth to the pot. Simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Now add red lentils. Cover and let simmer for about half an hour, until lentils are soft, and curry is thick.
  7. Add spinach into the curry until it wilts softens. Add lemon juice. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring throughout.
  8. Serve with naan, flatbread, quinoa, or rice. Enjoy!

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