Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cheap and Easy Weeknight Dinners: Dal Nirvana

I made this dish weeks ago and wanted to share it then. But my best intentions lately have gone very much awry- at least with this blog. I'm not really sure why it appealed to me or why I made it on a random night. But I did and it was delicious. It was also super easy because I completed a few steps ahead of time. I simmered the lentils and the rice in the afternoon while I was doing work. Then, when I got home after class, I was able to pull it together quickly. The flavor is amazing and it's so healthy and hearty and cheap! I'd really recommend it to everyone. I had some broccoli on the side, but it would also be great with a salad and some naan instead of the rice.

Dal Nirvana
recipe from here

1 cup dry lentils
1 can (15 oz.) crushed or diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, or to taste
4 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro

Earlier in the afternoon, I simmered a cup of brown rice according to the instructions. I also put the lentils in a pot and covered them with water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for about ten minutes. Drain the lentils and set aside. When you are ready to make the dinner, add them to a large skillet and add the water, tomatoes, butter, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, coriander, cumin and cayenne if you are using it. Stir a few times over medium heat until the butter is melted.

Cover the skillet, bring the mixture to simmer and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer on low for about 30 minutes until the mixture is nice and thick.
Add the yogurt and stir until incorporated.
Top the mixture with a cilantro garnish. Serve over rice or with naan. Enjoy!


  1. Replies
    1. I'm so glad the comments are working! Yes, it was delicious! And I loved how much it made and how cheap it was. Great for my tight, graduate student budget!

  2. Highly recommended for cheap & easy alternative to ordering out at an Indian or Pakistani joint. Unlike our spice-averse author, I dumped cayenne on my serving. De-lish.


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