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Entree, Vegetarian |260 calories per serving|65 minute recipe

Indian Dal with Yogurt and Cucumbers

This content was last updated on February 25, 2020

Dal is a flavorful Indian lentil dish that pairs nicely with cool summer cucumbers and a fresh dill yogurt. Red lentils cook quickly and they pack 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein in each cup. Garam masala is a blend of spices and varies by region. A typical Indian version combines cardamom, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cloves. Researchers are currently looking at the anti-inflammatory properties of these spices. Eating high fiber foods, like red lentils, is linked with reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.



  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 3 cups hot water
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup seeded cucumber, chopped
  • 1/3 cup scallions, chopped, green part only
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. reduced- fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 whole-wheat pita breads, warmed
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 260 calories, 5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 41 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 160 mg sodium, 3 g sugar, 0 g added sugar.


  1. In large bowl, add lentils. Fill bowl with cold water. 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.
  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, about 20 minutes. Dal will thicken as it cools. Uncover and pour dal into wide, shallow bowl. Set aside until lukewarm, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
  3. To serve, divide dal among 4 small soup bowls. Top each with ¼ serving of cucumber, scallions and dill, plus 1 tbsp. 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 for up to 3 days. Before serving, warm in microwave or in covered pot over medium heat, stirring often.


If you do not have garam masala, use ½ tsp. each ground cardamom, coriander and cumin, ¼  tsp. each ground cinnamon and black pepper, and ⅛ tsp. ground cloves.

This recipe is reprinted from The New American Plate Cookbook, which features 200 mouth-watering recipes and color photos. It is available from bookstores and online booksellers. Proceeds from sales fund cancer research.

This recipe contains cancer fighting foods:

This recipe was specially crafted to support cancer prevention and survival. It adheres to AICR's Cancer Prevention Recommendations. Learn more about our recipe guidelines.

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