Make Your Own Takeout: Lentil Dal

Indian food is one of those things that sends us into love/hate mode. We love the spice, comfort, and exotic taste of the vindaloo, tandoori, and masalas. We fucking hate the never-ending smell of curry that permeates our pores, mouths, nails, walls, curtains, and anything else within a 2 mile radius once we eat it.

What’s a betch to do? I mean, Indian food is officially the new Chinese takeout—but goddamn, we can’t deal. The answer is, whether fortunately or unfortunately, to get to work so that you can control wtf goes in your delicious Indian meal. We’ll start with an easy recipe for a HEALTHY lentil dal courtesy of Food Network’s Indian betch, Aarti Sequeira (but like, with our tweaks).


  • 1 cup masoor dal red lentils (find this in the ethnic aisle)
  • 2 cups of water (find this in your goddamn sink)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 1 Thai chile, sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds (order this shit online—you’ll be thankful)
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Fresh cilantro

Yah sounds like a lot but whatever. Rinse the lentils under cold water, then add them to a bowl, cover with water and soak for 30 minutes or ¼ of a Bachelor episode. Drain and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of water, onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and chile—then toss in the lentils. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Whisk the lentils, then mash a bit to your desired consistency. Add salt to taste. Next, in a small bowl, combine the cumin and mustard seeds, while in another bowl you combine all the other fucking spices EXCEPT the cilantro, which is an herb, jackass. In a small skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Once it’s super fucking hot, add the seeds and IMMEDIATELY COVER THAT SHIT BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T YOU’LL GET POPPED IN THE EYE. Add the spices but don’t let them fucking burn—let “bloom” for about 30 seconds then remove from heat and pour into the lentil mixture WHILE STANDING THE FUCK BACK. Stir, then top with the cilantro and serve over steamed jasmine rice. Fuck yes, Indian food. 


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