Lenten red lentil dahl

Posted by on March 16, 2015 in Lenten Meals, Lenten Meals, Nourishing the Fast, recipes | Comments Off on Lenten red lentil dahl

 red lentil prep

This is one of my favorite recipes, both during Lent and throughout the year.  It is simple to make, tastes great and everyone loves it.  Serve the red lentil dahl over brown rice, with some warmed whole wheat naan,  and you have an easy weeknight meal that only tastes better as a leftover.

Ginger is a spice which is very healthy for the stomach, and it has a peppery bite to it.  Try to use fresh ginger and grate it with a microplane grater if you have one, otherwise just mince it with a knife.  If you plant your ginger root in a pot and put it on a sunny window, you can grow more ginger root for free!

Red lentils are nutrient laden and restorative to our bodies.  The ginger and turmeric lend anti-inflammatory qualities to this soothing meal.  Although this is an Indian lentil dish, lentils in general  are a traditional meal during Lent.


favorite spices

My favorite spices are from Penzey’s  They began as an online store and their spices are very flavorful, but more than that, very affordable.  4 ounces of most Penzey’s costs less than McCormick’s, Spice Hunter and other spice brands at the grocery stores.  So for example, at Walmart, McCormick’s ground cumin costs $4.48 for 1.5 ounces, whereas at Penzeys you’ll spend $5.69 for a 4 ounce bag of a better quality more flavorful cumin.

I have found this to be the same, across the board for all of Penzeys spices.

Lenten Red Lentil Dahl


  • 1 cup red lentils (they are actually orange)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1–3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons oil or butter or ghee or coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cumin
  • 1 teaspoon powdered coriander
  • 2 medium sized carrots diced (about 1 cup)


Rinse red lentils and soak for 2–12 hours.  This step is not as critical with lentils as with larger beans, but it does help to neutralize any phytic acid present in beans and grains.  Phytic acid binds to the minerals in the beans and therefore makes your absorption of these minerals difficult.  Turns out our grandmothers knew what they were doing!  Traditional preparations are generally more nourishing…. even if they do take a little tiny bit more time.

Place all ingredients in a pot or large high rimmed pan.  Bring to simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until liquid has drained.

Serve over brown rice.  My favorite way to make rice for this dish is 2 cups brown rice, 3 cups water, 1 cup coconut milk.  It makes a tasty coconut-ty rice that goes really well with the dal.


red lentil dal dinner