2 onions, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups water, plus extra as needed
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 pound red lentils (2 1/4 cups), picked over and rinsed
1 pound carrots (about 6), peeled and chopped medium
1 pound plum tomatoes (4 to 6), cored and chopped medium
1 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1. Microwave onions, garlic, oil, ginger, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, and red pepper flakes in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onions arc softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.
2. Stir water, coconut milk, lentils, and carrots into slow cooker. Cover and cook until lentils are lender, 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 5 hours on high.
3. Stir in tomatoes, cover, and cook on high until heated through, about 10 minutes. Stir in peas and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. (Adjust stew consistency with additional hot broth as needed.) Stir in cilantro. season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
why this recipe works
Deeply flavorful, exotically spiced dal – dishes made from lentils – are comforting, hearty Indian stews that have a porridge-like consistency when cooked. We like mild, slightly nutty-tasting
red lentils, which fade to a light mustard hue during cooking, and set out to create a slow-cooked version of masoor dal. In order to capture the complex flavors of Indian cuisine we needed to use a handful of warm spices – coriander, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, and red pepper flakes – and were pleased to find these contributed vibrant flavor notes even after hours in the slow cooker. Coconut milk ensured the lentils had a creamy consistency and imparted a rich flavor, while tender carrots, peas, diced raw tomatoes, and cilantro accented the stew with colorful bursts of flavor. Though it is typically served as a side dish, we like to serve this striking, creamy dal over white rice as a hearty, vegetarian main course. It’s also nice served with dollops of yogurt.