Red Lentil Dal with Caramelized Onions

Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 4

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a cast-iron skillet or non-stick skillet over moderate to low heat. Add the onion slices and cook slowly until caramelized, soft and brown. (This will take about 30 minutes. Cook the onions alongside the lentils.)

Toast mustard seeds, coriander seeds, caraway seeds and the clove in a small skillet over medium heat for about 90 seconds. Shake the pan frequently so the seeds don't burn. Combine the seed mixture with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and the dried, destemmed chile pepper in a coffee or spice grinder. Pulse until ground1.

In a medium pot, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for about a minute. Add the lentils and the spice mixture, stirring well to combine and toast, about a minute. Add the tomatoes and broth, stir well and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat and keep it at a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring periodically. Uncover and add the caramelized onions. Cook for another 10 minutes uncovered.


  1. I had to shake my grinder to get it to grind all the way. When you're done, you should have a nice powder. Make sure you clean out the grinder well afterwards or use a dedicated grinder for spices -- I don't know what your coffee will taste like if you don't!

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