lentil love: creamy broccoli & red lentil dal

creamy broccoli & red lentil dal | everybody likes sandwiches

Oh you know, I was sitting back the other day talkin’ about lentils with a couple of friends (true story). They were discussing the merits of ¬†french green lentils and black lentils but I think they were disrespecting the red lentil just a little bit. I don’t think you need to pick sides because lentils are delicious, whatever colour they happen to be. Red lentils turn soft and I think that’s why my friends were dissing it. Let’s celebrate that texture! It’s like a lentil hug that gives in, slides around, and gets all smooshy like the best kind of kiss. And you can’t pick a better lentil for a good old fashioned dal, right?

creamy broccoli & red lentil dal | everybody likes sandwiches

This dal is full of broccoli. Chopped up, pulsed-in-a-processor broccoli (but if you’re got mad knife skills, feel free to use them) which is a bit of a trick if you’re serving this to someone who doesn’t like broccoli. Broccoli? What broccoli? Or if you’ve got cauliflower, whirl some of that up instead. The finely chopped broccoli melds well with the texture of the red lentils and the whole dish seems creamy and wholesome.

creamy broccoli & red lentil dal | everybody likes sandwiches

Did I mention that it’s spicy? Because it is. You can tone down the spice using a mild spice blend and not adding in extra chilis, but that’s how I roll. But I also like a bit of sweetness to my spicy, so I added in some dates instead of honey or other sweetener. If you’re staying away from refined sugars, than you’ll love the natural sweetness that dates lend to the dish. I minced them up fine so that they blend easily into the dal. Lightly sweet, spicy and creamy while being totally vegan and healthy to boot? Yum.

broccoli & red lentil dal | everybody likes sandwiches

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13 comments to “lentil love: creamy broccoli & red lentil dal”

  1. 1
    Warm Vanilla Sugar   April 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    This sounds awesome!! What a fabulous idea!

  2. 2
    Asiya @ Chocolate and Chillies   April 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    We love red lentils!!! It’s my 6 year old son’s favorite one..he calls it yellow daal. I’m always looking for new ways to cook it and I love how you’ve “hidden” some broccoli in it..the other ingredients sound different to be in daal (i.e. dates) but I’m sure it is fabulous and a must try!

  3. 3
    Joanne (Bijoux)   April 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Yum!!!! Looks incredible! I’ve been sweetening my baking, like muffins and cakes, with date puree lately, so this stew is a godsend for me! Oh, and I love red lentils because they are so freaking easy to cook, and sometimes I’m lazy and just want to eat fast coking lentils :)

  4. 4
    Joanne (Bijoux)   April 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    **cooking not coking lol!

  5. 5
    Joanne   April 19, 2013 at 3:22 am

    I actually think I love red lentils MORE because of their kind of mushy texture! I’ve been craving Indian flavors something fierce so this is going to have to go on the menu!

  6. 6
    Shannon @ moveeatcreate.wordpress.com   April 19, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Well this looks wonderful and comforting (something I surely new this week). Plus, I love all the lentils equally, so that works out well for me. :).

  7. 7
    kickpleat   April 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Thanks, WVS!

    Asiya, I’m not sure how traditional it is (okay, it’s not at all), but it all works! Cut down the spice levels and I’m sure your son would like this.

    I want to know more about your date puree recipes, Bijoux!! Sounds like it would be a great substitute for quick breads. And it works nicely here too :)

    Joanne, I know the feeling. I love them so much too especially for their texture.

    Shannon, yes to comforting meals! Enjoy :)

  8. 8
    Joanne (Bijoux)   April 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    kickpleat, in lieu of sugar in a recipe, I take 5 or 6 dates, remove the seeds and add 3 tablespoons of hot, boiled water to a bowl. I soften the dates and mash them with a fork until a puree forms. Then I add it to the wet ingredients and continue with the recipe. I’ve tried it already with carrot cake and with muffins. It gives a lovely, moist texture to the crumb and isn’t cloyingly sweet. Plus, there’s fibre in dates. I haven’t tried the date puree in bread but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. With the quick breads I’ve made lately, I have used a tablespoon (or two) of honey or maple syrup.

  9. 9
    sara   April 21, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Looks delish! Could I use normal milk or a light cream instead of the almond milk?

  10. 10
    Sues   April 22, 2013 at 4:39 am

    I love lentils and this looks so delicious!!

  11. 11
    kickpleat   April 22, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Awesome info, Bijoux – I’ll give it a try! Thanks :)

    Sara, yes you can, but add it just before serving giving it enough time in the pan to heat up – any longer and I might be afraid of it curdling. Let me know how it goes!

    Thanks Sues!

  12. 12
    rachel   April 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    In the middle of making this, about to add the cauliflower instead of broccoli, but it doesn’t say when to add the coconut milk?

  13. 13
    kickpleat   April 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Nice catch, Rachel! Add it with the stock. Recipe fixed, hope I didn’t screw you up!!

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