Really good! ... No, Really!
*Recipe Note: This recipe freezes well. We create individual freezer meals including the cooked rice, Mango Dal, and some roasted chicken. This is a freezer favorite that my husband loves to take to work for lunches! Oh and sorry about the slightly blurry pic, sometimes that happens when I try to take a quick picture with my phone. Hope you can see past that and discover how delicious this dish really is....no really!
1 cup yellow lentils (these are not the same as the traditional brown lentils sold at most super markets, they are usually found at specialty Asian or Indian food markets, however you can - and I do - substitute yellow split peas which are not the same as yellow lentils, but make a nice substitute and we actually prefer the flavor and texture (available at most super markets) to the lentils
3 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger (about a 1" x 1" piece - ground ginger is not the same)
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. (or less - if you want it slightly less spicy) cayenne pepper
2 mangoes, peeled & diced (for an easy how to on cutting mangos you can click here - also this may sound weird or even a little disgusting to some, but trust me on this one - don't throw away the precious mango seeds without first sucking off the fruit/juice or letting one of your children do it. So delicious - it's a fight to see who gets the seed! You'll be amazed, it's like the fight over who gets to lick the beaters when making cookies or a yummy dessert, but healthier and better for you.)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup cooked Jasmine or Basmati rice per person - optional (not included in nutritional info. below)
1 whole roasted chicken about 2-3 lbs. - optional (not included in nutritional info. below)
Place lentils (or split peas) in a colander and rinse until the water runs clear (pick out any damaged or discolored lentils and discard). In a large saucepan, combine rinsed lentils (or split peas), 4 cups water, 1/2 tsp. salt, and turmeric. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes (for lentils), for 30 minutes (for split peas).
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick skillet or large dutch-oven style pan, over medium heat, until shimmering, but not smoking. Add cumin seeds and cook until fragrant and starting to brown, about 30 seconds. Add onion; cook stirring until soft and just barely beginning to brown, about 4-6 minutes. Do not overcook or your dal will look darker and discolored. Add garlic, ginger, coriander, cayenne, and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook stirring for 1 minute more.
Stir the garlic mixture and prepared mangoes into the lentils or split peas. Return to a simmer; cook stirring occasionally until the lentils are falling apart or the split peas have a fairly soft bite (they will be somewhat chewy still, but tender), about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Makes about 6 - 1 cup servings.
Serve over Basmati or Jasmine rice and with roasted chicken, if desired (I just like to pick up a roasted chicken at the super market the day of). Not included in nutritional information below.
Nutritional Information per serving: 186 calories/ 9 g protein/ 33 g carb/ 3 g fat
Recipe Source: Slightly adapted from EatingWell (eatingwell.com).