Red Lentil Dhal

Yield: 4 servings


  • For the Dhal:
    • ¼ cup of butter
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
    • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
    • 3 cups of water
    • 1 cup of red lentils
    • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • For the Rice:
    • 2 cups of jasmine rice
    • 4 cups of water
    • a generous pinch of saffron
    • ½ teaspoon of salt
    • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped


  1. Start with the dhal. Place the butter in a saucepan and gently melt it over medium heat. Carefully skim off the white milk solids foam that rises to the top and continue to heat until the butter stops bubbling and the light film of milk solids at the bottom begins to turn brown. Add the onion, garlic, cumin and curry and sauté to cook slightly, about 3 minutes.  Add the water, lentils and salt. Bring the works to a simmer and continue simmering until the lentils are soupy and mushy, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. In a separate pot over medium-high heat, bring the second measure of water to a boil. Stir in the rice, saffron and salt. Cover, reduce the heat and cook until the rice is tender, aromatic and all the liquid is absorbed, 15 minutes or so.
  3. Ladle the dhal over the rice and garnish with fresh sprigs of cilantro.