Dal Nirvana

I was really craving some Chana Masala, but I was out of chickpeas.  However, I had a big bag of lentils and I found this recipe for Dal Nirvana.  I made a few changes in an attempt to reduce the amount of saturated fat without compromising the taste.  I replaced the butter and cream in the original recipe with nonfat Greek yogurt, which helped make the dish creamy.  There was just one aesthetic problem – I added the yogurt when the dal was very hot, and it separated.  This didn’t affect the taste of the dish, but the photo is so horrible I can’t even post it.  I also cut back the cayenne pepper so that it wouldn’t be too spicy, and added a dash of curry powder for a little more Indian flavor.

In the end, I liked this dal but it probably won’t make it into my rotation of Indian dishes.  There are just too many recipes that I like even more, like Chana Masala, Chicken Saagwala, and Red Bean Curry.  Plus, there’s plenty more Indian recipes I’d like to try.  I think Chicken Tikka Masala might be next on the list…..



Dal Nirvana

1 c. lentils
1″ piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 t minced garlic
1/4 t cayenne pepper
Dash salt
Dash curry
1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) container nonfat plain Greek yogurt
Fresh cilantro

Place lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with water.  Simmer covered for 10-15 minutes, until lentils are tender.  Drain lentils, and return to pan.  Add ginger, garlic, pepper, salt, and curry powder and stir well.  Add tomatoes and 1 cup of water.  Simmer covered for 30 minutes.  Remove cover, and continue to simmer until the mixture is thick.  Remove from heat and allow to cool briefly.  Stir in yogurt and cilantro.  Serve with brown rice or naan.

-Adapted from Budget Bytes


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