Easy Lentil Dal with Cilantro Yogurt

lentil dal

Hi guys. It’s been a few and I apologize. I hope you’ve been eating (and living) well. And I hope you’re getting more sleep than me!

I’m trying really hard to work less on the weekends – my normal schedule is to work most of Sunday grading, planning, and generally playing catch up to everything I can’t get done during the work week. The pile of grading never seems to end, nor does the “to do” list for each class. I never thought I would take more work home as a teacher than I ever did as an attorney; it’s a good thing I love teaching!

But with my personal work-life balance of less weekend work in full play, I’m moving that work to the week nights and that kinda sucks. I’m tiirreedd. My weekends are better, but nights a little more stressful. And thus, I’ve had less time to post. But we make those choices in life, right? Any tips on keeping work out of your weekends?

But hey, today I’m back and ready to serve you some delicious meal ideas … starting with this super easy and healthy vegetarian main dish.

This is a great meal to double up and take as lunch during the week or to have on hand for easy leftovers. I recently served this to someone who “hates curry” and he said it was the first time he liked curry in a dish. The lentils are lightly spiced with curry so it’s a great way to introduce the spice. If you don’t like spice at all, omit the chili powder. This is a really mildly spiced dal and something even kids should enjoy. Oh, and I added some vegetable stock powder to the lentils – feel free to substitute the water for vegetable or chicken stock or add a seasoning powder.

Serving suggestion: Over basmati rice with lemon wedges for squeezing and with an arugula, red onion, and avocado salad.

Easy Lentil Dal with Cilantro Yogurt
Recipe Type: Vegetarian Entree
Author: Adapted from Real Simple magazine
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4-6
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • S/P
  • 2 cups dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 4 cups water (or veggie/chicken stock)
  • 1 lemon, juiced (and lemon wedges for serving, optional)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onion, curry powder, chili powder, and 1/2 tsp. each of S/P. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the lentils and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils are very tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the lemon juice.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the rice and/or salad to serve with the lentils.
  4. Combine the yogurt and cilantro in a small bowl and season with S/P.
  5. Serve the lentils with the cilantro yogurt and lemon wedges.