Food

Dal aur Sabzi: Lentils with Roasted Carrots and Kale

A cozy dish to serve with lots of fresh dill, over rice, or even a slice of buttered bread.

A cozy dish to serve with lots of fresh dill, over rice, or even a slice of buttered bread

(Photo: Shayma Owaise Saadat)

Several versions of this red lentil dish are made all over Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. It is often fortified with vegetables (sabzi); my particular version calls for roasted diced carrots and dinosaur kale. The tempering of shallots — the tarka — adds a crunchy texture to the dish. 

(For two more of my favourite lentil recipes, click here.)

Dal aur Sabzi: Lentils with Roasted Carrots and Kale

The dish can be enjoyed as a main, and pairs beautifully with rice, naan, quinoa, or even a slice of buttered bread. 

Ingredients

  • 1¾ litres boiling water
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¾ pound carrots, trimmed, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil (or any neutral oil), divided
  • 3-4 fresh dinosaur (lacinato) kale leaves, vein removed, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced into concentric rings
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dill

Preparation

Place a large heavy-bottomed pot over high heat and add the boiling water, lentils, tomatoes, garlic cloves, salt, chili powder, and turmeric powder. As soon as the contents of the pot come to a boil, decrease the heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, about 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure the lentils are not catching at the bottom of the pot. 

While the lentils simmer, preheat the oven to 425F degrees, placing the rack in the lower third of the oven. Toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons of oil and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast until they appear brown along the edges, about 25 minutes, tossing halfway through. Allow carrots to cool, then turn them out on a board and dice them into ½-inch cubes. 

When the lentils are ready, they will appear creamy; you can also test a few between your index finger and thumb, they should give easily. Turn the heat off, and smoosh the garlic cloves in the pot with the back of a ladle; they will blend right in. While lentils are still warm, add the carrots and kale, and gently stir; the kale will soften up and wilt. 

Prepare the tarka. In a small frying pan heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add the shallots and stir for 60-90 seconds, or until the shallots turn golden brown. Immediately pour the tarka over the dal and top with lots of fresh dill.

Yield: Makes 4 servings


Shayma Owaise Saadat is a food writer and chef. She lives in Toronto with her husband and son. You can follow her culinary journey at www.shaymasaadat.com or on Instagram at @SpiceSpoon.

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