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Red Lentil Dal with Kale

Red Lentil Dal with Kale

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • One 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 ½ cups red lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro stems, plus leaves for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate *optional
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice


  • In a medium saucepan combine the chicken stock, coconut milk, lentils, cilantro stems and tamarind and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat and cook the lentils until tender, about 20 minutes. If it gets to thick, add a little water.

    In a small saucepan heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil. Add the cardamom, cumin, coriander, fennel, and cinnamon stick and cook over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to steep the oil.

    In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining coconut oil over medium heat and add the onions. Cook stirring occasionally, until translucent about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, jalapeno and turmeric and salt and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer.  Add half of the onion mixture to the pan with the lentils and stir to combine.

    Remove the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick from the spiced oil. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the spiced oil to a paste. Add half of the paste to lentils and stir to combine.

    Add the kale to the lentils and cook over medium-low heat until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and season with salt and the remaining spice paste.

    To serve, spoon the dal into bowls, top with the reserved onion mixture and garnish with cilantro leaves.


Recipe Details