| Prep Time: 10 mins
| Cook Time: 40 mins
| Total Time: 50 mins
You may need: Dried Garlic Powder
Dals are to India what potatoes are to Idaho. That is to say, they are part of the everyday culinary experience and recipes using them can take an amazing variety of shapes, colors, and flavors. The Hindi term ‘Dal’ means dried legume (like lentils, peas, chickpeas, or beans) but also refers to the finished stew which is made from the legumes, aromatics, and spices. Dals are frequently vegetarian dishes, owing to a large vegetarian population in India, but adding meat, such as this lamb dal, is as common as not. Feel free to sub in tofu or another meat.
This lamb dal recipe starts by browning cubes of lamb shoulder, which are slowly braised in the liquid used to cook the lentils. We infuse a traditional flavor to the dish by adding our Madras Hot Curry spice blend and frying briefly in the oil to release the natural oils in the spices. We finish the dish by adding plain Greek Yogurt for a slightly creamier, tangier spoonful.
1 lb boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2″ cubes
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 tbsp Piquant Post Madras Hot Curry spice
1 (14.5oz) can of no-salt diced tomatoes, drained (or use 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced)
2 tbsp canola (or olive) oil
1 cup of green or brown lentils
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
handful of cilantro roughly chopped for garnish
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
* for a spicier curry, add 1-2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, seeded and diced (optional)
There are a wide variety of lentils, typically identified by color (red, yellow, green, etc). We call for green/brown lentils because they typically cook a little faster. You can use any lentil variety in this recipe but be aware that they might take more time to cook to become soft.
Briefly frying the spices in oil (or ghee, an Indian clarified butter) is a cooking technique called “tempering”. The hot oil extracts the flavorful oils from the spices and produces a beautiful aroma, both of which are then imparted to the dish.
We suggest using plain greek yogurt to add a little creaminess to the lamb dal. Do not use yogurt with any added sugar or flavorings.
Our Madras Hot Curry is perfect for any curry recipe that calls for cumin, cardamom, coriander and turmeric. We do add hot chiles to the spice blend, but for most people it is a moderate amount. If you are sensitive to spicy heat, use less curry powder than the recipe calls for.
For additional spicy heat, you might dice up a jalapeño or serrano chile and add to the dish with the garlic, ginger and onion to briefly stir-fry to soften.
Lastly, optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.
Stir in the Madras Hot Curry spice over the lamb and oil and cook for 1 min. Then add the ginger, garlic and onion (and peppers if you want a spicier curry). Cook for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 mins.
Simmer the mixture for 20-25 mins. The lentils should be al dente or softer, but not completely mushy. Remove from heat, stir in Greek yogurt, and serve lamb dal in bowls along with naan or crusty bread. Garnish with cilantro.
Dals are very easy to customize to your liking. If you don’t eat lamb, use beef instead. You can also use chicken, pork, or even sausage.
Dals are also very often vegetarian dishes. To make this recipe vegetarian, sub in tofu for the meat (and fry for roughly same time as lamb) or just drop meat altogether. Also, add in 1 cup of crumbled cauliflower with the aromatics for a hearty vegetarian twist.
Why do we call for canned tomatoes? Since the tomatoes are harvested at peak ripeness, canned tomatoes provide a better taste on average than most supermarket tomatoes that are picked less-than-ripe then shipped to market. However, feel free to substitute in fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes if they are in-season. Just remove the core/seeds first then dice.
Use sour cream instead of greek yogurt if that’s all you have.
Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!