Full Belly Fridays-Dhal

As I mentioned in my post “Breathe out 2013, Breathe in 2014”, one goal for this year is to blog/vlog more regularly. In fact, it was a goal in 2013…and 2012. To be blunt, I’ve never been great at journalling, and blogging is really just the online version of that. Virginia has been doing a regular feature on her blog called Mommy Musing Mondays, and it’s proven quite successful. So, I’ve decided to take a page from her book, and have a weekly themed post too!

The theme (as you may have guessed) is called Full Belly Fridays. All the posts will be related tp food and drink – whether it’s what I’m up to in the garden, a recipe I want to share, or a cross-post from my brewing blog (7cubed.ca), it’ll always be about stuff that keeps the body and soul fueled up.

With that in mind, the first post will be about something I tried making recently: Dhal. Its beauty is in the simplicty: red lentils cooked in water with onions and curry powder. This simplicity leaves lots of room for experimentation, whether it’s replacing the red lentils with another type, or just playing around with the seasonings. Another benefit is that lentils are quite healthy for you, so if you’re considering doing something like Meatless Mondays, this is a great dish to add to your repertoire.

The recipe I used is from Canadian Lentils and Chef Michael Smith. Here’s a video demonstrating how to make hal:

For the Rice

  • 2 cups (500 mL) of basmati or any white rice
  • 3 cups (750 mL) of water
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) of salt

For the Dhal

  • ¼ cup (65 mL) of butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of cumin
  • 2-3 Tbsp (30-45 mL) of curry powder
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) of water
  • 2 cups (500 mL) of red lentils
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of frozen ginger, freshly grated
  • Lots of cilantro, freshly chopped or whole, for garnish


  1. Start the rice first. Begin the dhal by tossing the butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat, swirling gently until it melts and begins to steam and foam. Keep a close eye on the butter as the foam subsides and the butter begins to brown. Continue swirling the pan gently, watching the color until it becomes golden brown and fragrant. Immediately toss in the chopped onions, lowering the temperature.
  2. Stir the cumin and curry powder into the onions. Continue stirring for a few minutes as the spices heat through. Add the water, lentils, and ginger to the pot. Bring the works to a full boil then adjust the heat lower to maintain a slow, steady simmer.
  3. Continue cooking until the lentils are soft, about ten minutes. The lentils will soften into a chunky delicious puree. If you prefer a smoother sauce, feel free to puree the works further with an immersion blender, in a stand blender, or in your food processor.
  4. Spoon the dhal over the rice, garnish with lots of fresh cilantro, serve and share!

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