A few years ago when I was in college and cooking for myself, I went on a semi-vegan kick after reading Skinny Bitch. I was a vegetarian at that time but my Wisconsin roots (aka cheese) and love for pork made the vegan, and vegetarian stints short ones.

Dal was a lunch-time staple for me and I made it on an almost weekly basis. I may have burnt myself out on it a few years ago, but after reading Mark Bittman’s article in the New York Times, Elevating Simple Legumes, Just Enough, I had added Dal to my weekly menu and couldn’t wait another week to make it. Out of the many dal recipes in the article – the Lentils with Curried Tarka caught my eyes. And my tastebuds. Lentils cooked in coconut milk? Curry, scallion and lemon zest -infused butter? Combined for one decedent bean dish. And while serving naan along side it seemed a little redundant on the starch side, what better way to enjoy the classic Indian dish. Vegetables can wait another day.

Lentils with Curried Tarka adapted from New York Times

  • 1/3 cup dried brown lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups mix of coconut milk  and vegetable stock (I ended up needing a lot more than this throughout the cooking process)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut butter (coconut oil would work better)
  • 1 bunch chopped scallions
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped cilantro leaves

In a medium saucepan, combine lentils and liquid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn heat down to medium-low so that the mixture bubbles gently, cover partly and cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are just tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Add liquid as necessary to keep them a little soupy.

Put butter in a skillet over medium heat until it is melted (I realized that coconut butter doesn’t melt very well which is why I would recommend coconut oil) Add scallions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook and stir for another minute or so. Add a large pinch of salt and some pepper.

When lentils are cooked to desired tenderness, stir scallion mixture into the lentils. Dal should be moist but not soupy; if it is not, add more water and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve.


No Comments (Reply )

  1. Molly
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    Ive found my new love for curry this week so Im going to have to try this! and with lentils? Even better!

    Reply

  2. Molly
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    Ive found my new love for curry this week so Im going to have to try this! and with lentils? Even better!

    Reply

  3. Estela @ Weekly Bite
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 10:48 am

    Emily, this looks delicious! I love lentils!

    Reply

  4. Estela @ Weekly Bite
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 10:48 am

    Emily, this looks delicious! I love lentils!

    Reply

  5. savoringsarah
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 11:32 am

    Yum!! I <3 curry AND coconut milk…

    Gorgeous pics, too!!

    Reply

  6. savoringsarah
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 11:32 am

    Yum!! I <3 curry AND coconut milk…

    Gorgeous pics, too!!

    Reply

  7. fittoindulge
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

    I love lentils. They look great, and your photos are so artistic too. :)

    Reply

  8. fittoindulge
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

    I love lentils. They look great, and your photos are so artistic too. :)

    Reply

  9. Julie @savvyeats
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    Mmmm… love curry, and lentils!

    Reply

  10. Julie @savvyeats
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    Mmmm… love curry, and lentils!

    Reply

  11. mary beth
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

    i love curry…not sure about the lentils? i will have to give it a try!

    Reply

  12. mary beth
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

    i love curry…not sure about the lentils? i will have to give it a try!

    Reply

  13. Kris
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 6:04 am

    Ahem…pardon me? This looks amazing! If I didn’t have the largest pot of soup in existence in my fridge to get to, I’d be making this tonight! It’s going on the grocery list for next week.

    Kris

    http://www.oatmealontherocks.wordpress.com

    Reply

  14. Kris
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 6:04 am

    Ahem…pardon me? This looks amazing! If I didn’t have the largest pot of soup in existence in my fridge to get to, I’d be making this tonight! It’s going on the grocery list for next week.

    Kris

    http://www.oatmealontherocks.wordpress.com

    Reply

  15. Simply Life
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 7:04 am

    oh I love how unique this is – looks delicious!

    Reply

  16. Simply Life
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 7:04 am

    oh I love how unique this is – looks delicious!

    Reply

  17. Lori
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 7:21 am

    So glad I caught up on your blog this week because this is going to be my lunch today or tomorrow. I have a feeling it is going to be a regular. Yum!

    Reply

  18. Lori
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 7:21 am

    So glad I caught up on your blog this week because this is going to be my lunch today or tomorrow. I have a feeling it is going to be a regular. Yum!

    Reply

  19. Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
    Jan 26, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

    How precious is this! Perfect for an appetizer.

    Reply

  20. Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
    Jan 26, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

    How precious is this! Perfect for an appetizer.

    Reply

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