Warm Red-Lentil Dal with Pita Chips

Photo: Earl Carter

This lentil dish is versatile: Serve this dal as a dip with pita chips or as a side dish with grilled meats or fish.


  • ½ pound red lentils (about 1 ¼ cups), picked over and rinsed

  • One 14 1/2-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth, or homemade, skimmed of fat

  • 1 cup water

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons cumin seeds

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

  • 1 large tomato, seeded and finely diced

  • ¼ cup fresh mint, finely chopped

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine lentils, broth, water, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan; add garlic, cumin seeds, and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

  3. Remove the lentils from heat, and stir in the garlic mixture, diced tomato, mint, and salt. Serve warm.

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