Kara's Dhal Recipe (Plus Naan)

Our family really loves this simple south Indian dish served with fresh naan (flatbread.) The bread is the most time consuming part, but it is worth it.

( Makes enough for leftovers with my family.)

Saute until sweet:
2 onions, diced small
minced garlic

Add and stir, then allow to sweat for a couple of minutes:
1/2 t. mustard seeds or ground mustard
1/2 t. coriander
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. tumeric and/or curry (may want more)

Then add:
2 cans of chicken broth (or equivalent)
2 c. dry lentils

Cook on low, adding water as needed. It will eventually become a yellow mush. Red lentils will cook much faster, about 45 minutes. Yellow lentils will take over an hour. You want it thick, so don't add too much water near the end.

Finally add:
1/2 - 1 can coconut milk (Kara says this is essential. I use 1/2 can and freeze the rest for another time. Check prices in oriental stores or health food stores. We found quite a price difference between two brands in just one store.)
Fresh cilantro (optional)

Serve with flatbread (naan) and/or rice and some stir-fried vegetables.


1 T. dry yeast
1 c. warm water
1/4 c. sugar
3 T. milk
1 egg, beaten
1-2 t. salt
4 1/2 c. flour (I use half white, half wheat)
2 t. minced garlic (opt.)
1/4 c. melted butter

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand 10 min. until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6-8 minutes by hand or somewhat less in bread mixer. Let rise in oiled bowl for 1 hour or until dough has doubled.

2. Punch down dough. Knead in garlic if desired. Pinch off golf-ball sized lumps, roll into balls, and place on tray. Cover with towel and let rise again until doubled, about 30 min.

3. Preheat griddle or large skillet. Roll balls, one at a time, and cook on lightly oiled griddle for 2-3 minutes until puffy and lightly browned. Brush with melted butter and turn over, Brush cooked side with butter as well. Cook until brnothd, another 2-4 minutes. Remove and continuing processing balls until all are cooked. (
This works best if you use a large electric griddle, which can handle many pieces at once.)

Enjoy your naan and dhal!


Kara said…
Something I learned recently is that you can make Naan from the "5 minute a day" basic dough (http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx). All you have to do is pinch off a peach-sized ball, coat it in flour to keep it from sticking, roll it out and slap it in a hot skillet. Better not grease that hot skillet with cheap butter or you will set off the smoke alarms, so use a little oil and then lightly butter the Naan after it's done (a few minutes on each side should do it.) To keep the bread warm before serving, I stick a plate in the oven at 200 and pile the Naan up. I've tried serving Indian food without Naan, but it's never the same - almost more important than rice. Good thing they're both easy (at least with pre-mixed dough!)
Anne said…
Thanks, Kara. That sounds great. I'm going to give it a try next time I make dhal.
Terri said…
Sounds great. I make dhal a lot here, but will definitely try yours out. Here is a simple tasty way to serve cukes and tomatoes as a complimentary side:

Mix: 1 tsp. sugar with 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 T. apple cider vinegar. Add a dash of course ground pepper and 1 tsp. of olive oil. Mix well and let set until sugar and salt dissolves and pour over cut cucumber slices and tomato wedges at serving time. Sugar brings out the taste of the tomatoes especially.

Jessica said…
Hello Anne,

Rachel C. sent me the link to your blog and I have really enjoyed reading some of your posts this morning. These recipes sound wonderful!

We are a homeschooling family four living in Southern Bloomington. We just transplanted here from California last Fall. We're exploring different aspects of country living with 11 chickens and a small plot for our first garden. I have been on a waiting list through the library system for the Square Foot Gardening book. I just checked and I am now hold-position 1 of 7!

I recently checked out Lasagna Gardening and we are following those techniques... building up layers rather than tilling and digging, etc.

Anyway, it's nice to "meet" you. Hope you can stop by our blog sometime. We've got lots of recipes listed on the sidebar.

Take care.
Anne said…
Jessica - It was go good to meet you last night! Your blog is wonderful! You have me really intrigued by "lasagna gardening." I've heard of it before, but not looked into it. I think I'll have to request that book from the library. Hopefully we will run into each other again before too long.

Terri - Thanks for the cuke and tomato (or tormators as Ben calls them) recipe. That sounds like a great combination with dhal. I'm going to try it next time.
Jessica said…
Hello Anne,

I am now reading All New Square Foot Gardening and it seems to be a great method, as well. If my "Lasagna Garden" isn't very successful this year, I will definitely try "Square Foot" gardening next year!

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