New American Plate Challenge

Indian Dal with Yogurt and Cucumbers

Weekly Recipe
Serves 4

Here is a great way to incorporate red lentils into your meals. They cook quickly and they pack 16 g of fiber and 18 g of protein in each cup. Garam masala is a blend of flavorful, aromatic spices. ┬áDon’t leave the challenge without trying something new!


  • 3/4 Cups
    red lentils
  • 1/2 Cup
    chopped onion
  • 2
    cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon
    grated ginger
  • 2 Teaspoons
    garam marsala
  • 1 Teaspoon
    ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon
    canola oil
  • 3 Cups
    hot water
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 Cup
    chopped, seeded cucumber
  • 1/3 Cup
    chopped scallions, green part only
  • 1/4 Cup
    chopped fresh dill
  • 4 Tablespoons
    reduced-fat, Greek yogurt
  • 4
    whole-wheat pita breads, warmed


  1. In large bowl, place lentils. Fill bowl with cold water. Using your fingers, stir lentils 3-4 times, then drain. Repeat 2-3 times, until water runs nearly clear when drained. Transfer lentils to large saucepan. Add onion, garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin and oil. Stir to coat ingredients with oil. *If you do not have garam masala, use 1/2 tsp. each ground cardamom, coriander and cumin, 1/4 tsp. each ground cinnamon and black pepper, and 1/8 tsp. ground cloves.

  2. Set saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until spices are fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add hot water, bring to boil, cover, and simmer until lentils are soft, 20 minutes; dal will thicken as it cools. Uncover and pour dal into wide, shallow bowl. Set aside until lukewarm, 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

  3. To serve, divide dal among 4 small soup bowls. Top each with one-fourth of cucumber, scallions and dill, plus 1 tablespoon yogurt. Cut pitas into 6 wedges. Set each bowl on dinner plate, surround with pita wedges and serve.

  4. If desired, dal can be covered and refrigerated up to 3 days. Before serving, warm in microwave or in covered pot over medium heat, stirring often.

Nutrition: Per serving: 260 calories, 5 g total fat, (0 g saturated fat), 40 g carbohydrate, 15 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 135 mg sodium.