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Masoor Dal with Cauliflower and Kale

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Before we get to some major Indian yumminess, I wanted to mention two things.  First, you may notice things look a bit different around here.  I changed my theme and I like it but I’m not sure it’s “the one.”   I think the header is very plain…but I’m cheap and I don’t want to pay to get fancy so this is probably as good as it gets. :) Let me know what you think!

Second, I think I caused some confusion with my post on the cake decorating competition at work.  I’m not sure how many of you saw that, but I wanted to clarify that the date on it is correct.  I wrote it two years ago on my MySpace blog, and newly copied it to Recipe Rhapsody so that I could link to it in reference to how to make a tiered cake in an upcoming post.  I posted it with the original date I wrote it, so I didn’t think any one would see it, but I started getting some comments on it so apparently it came across some of your radars!  Just wanted to clarify that it’s now old news, but I appreciate your kind words and congratulations.

Red Lentils

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Although I still have a large backlog of recipes to post, the weather is heating up again and it looks like the casseroles, soups, and pumpkin recipes will probably have to wait until next year, so I thought I’d gush (or perhaps rhapsodize would be a more appropriate word for this blog!) about the lunch I made today instead.  I’m on a mission to spring-clean my wreck of a house into sparkling submission, and I started eying the red lentils I’d purchased at a Lebanese market over a month ago while I was organizing the kitchen.

I decided I was (finally) going to make something with them, but by the time I took a break to cook,  I was starving and didn’t want to bother with looking up any recipes.  I needed a quick meal and I threw this one together in just over half an hour, so it would be great for a busy day.  While I’m usually not a good enough cook to come up with anything edible without using a recipe, I think I knocked this one out of the park, if I do say so myself!  Becoming familiar with the cuisine by cooking several Indian dishes over the last few months helped a lot.

I made a masoor dal (a thick stew made of red lentils) that is almost vegan, and could certainly be turned so by using vegetable stock in place of the water and chicken bullion.  It is spicy in the full sense of the word–with plenty of Indian aromatics and and a moderate heat index, though you can certainly reduce or increase the spiciness to your tastes.

I’m usually not a fan of lentils, but I liked this more than any lentil dish I’ve made before.  I’m not sure if red lentils have a better flavor (which I do suspect, because I detected none of the usual musky lentil flavor in this dish), or if the spices just overwhelmed it.  The tender cauliflower pieces were a perfect accompaniment, but I don’t think the kale is absolutely necessary.  I couldn’t really detect any of its flavor, and it got kind of dull & ugly during the cooking process, but I don’t think it hurts to have all that extra nutrition!  Kale has powerful  antioxidant properties and is considered an anti-inflammatory so if you have it on hand, throw it in!  If not, don’t sweat it.  The only thing I didn’t have that I really felt it needed was a little cilantro to sprinkle over the top.  I had to make do with some dried parsley.  Bummer!

I served mine with whole wheat couscous since I was in a hurry to eat (it only takes 5 minutes to make), but you can serve it with rice or bulgar or even pasta.  Whatever floats your boat!

Masoor Dal with Cauliflower and Kale

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 cups water
2 chicken bullion cubes
1 cup red lentils
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon sriracha hot chile sauce, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 head cauliflower, separated into florets
2 cups loosely packed kale
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

In a large 3-quart saucepan, combine water, bullion, lentils, onions, and garlic; cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for ten minutes.  Stir in the tomato sauce, garam masala, curry powder, sriracha, and cumin.  Add the cauliflower and kale, stir & cover.  Cook for 20 more minutes, stirring often to make sure the dal isn’t sticking, or until the lentils are tender.  Stir in the olive oil during the last five minutes of cooking and serve with a sprinkle of cilantro over rice or couscous.

Serves 4

Per serving: 231 calories; 8 g fat; 40 g carbohydrates; 15 g fiber; 13 g protein


About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

11 responses »

  1. I’ve been wanting to get some more Indian dishes worked into our meals, and this one looks delicious. I’m getting ready to make out my menu for next month and this one will be on it for sure!


  2. Yum! I have some red lentils that have been banging around my pantry for over 2 years . . . yes, 2 years. So I really need to make them. This recipe looks awesome, and I think couscous would go really well with it. =) I like the new blog theme–you’re right, it’s simple, but it feels ‘clean.’


  3. Garam Masala might be my favorite spice EVER. I LOVE Indian food!!!
    In regards to the video I posted on my blog, I think that guy was on something. :) It still makes me laught every time I watch it. I wanted to recite some of it in the car when I saw the double rainbow but I didn’t want to freak my kids out.
    I heard about the Dog Smart class through a friend whose kids were afraid of dogs. I have no idea why my kids are afraid of them. It makes me sad to see them that scared. My mom has a dog which has become an issue and I’d like to get one someday soon. I grew up with dogs and I think it’s good for the kids to have a pet. (Besides their fishes). :)


  4. I like your header. I think it looks clean…not boring. I’m thinking I need to do something for Nutmeg Nanny too. I’m starting to get bored and I feel like my site looks a little cheap.

    Ok, now onto this delicious dish. It looks amazing! I never utilize lentils enough. They are so good for you!


  5. I like your new look! Your header is fine..simple, but sophisticated. If you want to add a little something, you could add some kind of graphic or something.

    I’m going to get red lentils tomorrow. For real. My mouth just aches to try this!!! But mine is gonna be extra spicy wahaha!


  6. I have not eaten that much Indian food…but what I have had I liked a lot. This looks soo good and soo good for you!


  7. This sounds super tasty! I love Indian food, adn rarely make it at home. This looks like one I can handle!


  8. Wow, Veronica. It really has been a while since I’ve stopped by. Love the redesign!

    I’ve got some garam masala I need to use quickly – I may try this recipe soon. Thanks!


  9. I like the new look of your blog also :) The food, as usual, looks delicious!! I have never had lentils…can you believe that…lol!


  10. I am so proud of your improv skills! Indian is very easy to make up as you go once you have a general idea! Red lentils are very mild flavored and much easier to digest. Next time, try spinach or fenugreek leaves instead of the kale and I think you will like it even better!!!


    • LOL, I just recently was able to track down some fenugreek spice and now you tell me you can actually buy the leaves? Not in Wichita, senorita! :) I actually liked it fine with the kale but I do think that spinach would be prettier if added right at the end. The kale’s color totally leached out.



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