Dal lasooni( Indian garlic lentils) is a creamy lentil curry-style dal with a whole lot of complex flavor from whole spices and garlic. It needs 1 Pan! Use lentils of choice, beans or chickpeas for variation.
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There are many many ways to make dals. Some are simple with a few spices or aromatics, while others are more complex flavored and creamy. This restaurant style dal Lasooni(garlic dal) has loads of garlic and a whole spices to add amazing deep flavor. As with any whole spices in curry, the flavor gets much more complex and stronger as the dish sits with the whole spices in it. So you want to make the dal ahead and use whatever spices you have.
If you don’t have all of the spices, it will still turn out amazingly delicious.
I use brown lentils in this dal lasooni, and you can also use green lentils, green mung beans, red lentils, chickpeas, whole urad, cooked white beans or any other cooked beans that you like!
Why You’ll Love Dal Lasooni
- creamy, protein-packed dish with an amazing Indian flavor
- naturally gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free
- one-pan dish
More Vegan Lentil Recipes
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 whole cloves
- 2" cinnamon stick
- 1 black cardamom pod opened up slightly or use a green cardamom pod
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup (80 g) chopped onion
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces (56.7 g) tomato puree (canned)
- 1/4 cup (59.15 ml) nondairy yogurt or non-dairy cream
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or Indian red chili powder, optional
- 15 ounce (425.24 g) can lentils or 1 1/2 cups of cooked brown lentils, green lentils, mung beans, chickpeas, or white beans
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or more, to taste
- 1/4 cup or more water or non Dairy milk
- cilantro and lemon juice for garnish
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and cook until the cumin seeds are very fragrant and have darkened in color significantly, about 2 minutes. Then add the bay leaves, cloves. cinnamon stick, and black cardamom and mix. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the bay leaves change color. This takes just a few seconds.
- Add the garlic and mix in for a few seconds, then cook until the garlic is starting to turn golden on some of the edges. Then Add the onion and salt and mix in and continue to cook until the onion is translucent. Mix in the tomato puree, non-dairy yogurt, and all of the remaining spices and bring that mixture to a good boil.
- Add the lentils, salt, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or nondairy milk for preferred consistency. Mix, then close the lid and let it simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, then switch off the heat.
- Taste and adjust salt and flavor, garnish with chopped cilantro and some lemon juice or lemon wedges for garnish. drizzle some nondairy cream over the top before serving. Fish out the whole spices(bay leaves, cardamom pod , cloves) just before serving(optional to preference).
Ingredients and Substitutions
- oil – To toast the spices and sauté. You can toast the spices in a dry skillet instead and use broth to sauté the aromatics, if you want to make this without oil.
- whole spices – Toasted cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom give this dal lasooni an incredible flavor!
- aromatics – Garlic and onion add the next layer of flavor to this dal.
- tomato puree – For the sauce. It adds umami and a little touch of sweetness.
- non-dairy yogurt – Makes the sauce so creamy! You can use thick, non-dairy cream, like cashew cream, instead, if needed.
- dried spices – The next layer of flavor comes from garam masala, white pepper, and cayenne pepper or Indian red chili powder. You can omit the cayenne/chili powder, if needed.
- lentils – Canned, cooked brown lentils make this dal come together lightning fast! You can use 1 1/2 cups cooked beans of choice instead of lentils, if you like.
- garnishes – Cilantro and lemon juice bring brightness and zest to the finished lasooni dal. You can also add a swirl of non-dairy cream, if you want it even creamier.
- Stir the whole spices frequently, so they don’t burn, especially the bay leaves. These toast in just a few seconds, so make sure not to let them burn!
- Pretty much any cooked beans will work in this dal. If you use heartier beans, like chickpeas or white beans, add some extra tomato puree and yogurt to make it saucier.
How to Make Lasooni Dal
Heat a skillet over medium high heat, add the oil, and then add the cumin seeds and cook until the cumin seeds are very fragrant and have darkened in color significantly, about two minutes.
Then add the bay leaves, cloves. cinnamon stick, and black cardamom and mix. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the bay leaves change color. This takes just a few seconds.
Add the garlic and mix in for a few seconds, cook until the garlic is starting to turn golden on some of the edges.
Add the onion and salt and mix in and continue to cook until the onion is translucent. (Yes, garlic goes before onion!)
Mix in the tomato puree, non-dairy yogurt, and all of the remaining spices and bring that mixture to a good boil.
Add the lentils, salt, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or nondairy milk for some extra sauce.
Mix, then close the lid and let it simmer for three to four minutes, then switch off the heat.
Taste and adjust salt and flavor and serve. You can add some chopped cilantro and some lemon juice or even veggies for garnish. You can also drizzle some nondairy cream over the top before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe is gluten free. It is also nut-free as long as you use a nut-free nondairy cream or yogurt. It’s soy-free if you use a soy-free nondairy cream or yogurt.
To make this oil-free, toast all the whole spices on a dry skillet, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of broth, and then add the garlic and continue. Keep adding broth to the pan as needed.
Dal (dhal, daal) is an entree or side made with lentils or beans simmered with plenty of spices. There are countless ways to prepare dal, depending on region and even household!