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Red Lentil Dal with Brown Basmati Rice

Heart Smart
red lentil dal with brown basmati rice

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red lentils, picked through and rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 tablespoons non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
  • Chopped cilantro, optional garnish


In a large saucepan, over medium heat, sauté onions in oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. In a small dish, combine turmeric, cumin, ground ginger, curry powder, garam masala and granulated sugar. Add spice mixture to onions and sauté until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Place lentils in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Add lentils and water to saucepan. Stir and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until lentils are tender and resemble a thick, coarse puree, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add tomato paste, brown sugar, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Prepare rice according to package directions, adding bay leaf to water and omitting salt. When ready to serve, top with yogurt and cilantro. Each serving consists of approximately 2/3 cup dal with 1/2 cup cooked rice and 1 tablespoon yogurt.
Cook’s Note: If you can’t find brown basmati rice, use regular brown rice.

Nutritional Info

  • Calories = 375
  • Fat = 7 gm
  • Saturated fat = 1 gm
  • Trans fat = 0 gm
  • Cholesterol = 0 mg
  • Protein = 18 gm
  • Sodium = 270 mg
  • Carbohydrate = 63 gm
  • Fiber = 10 gm
  • Calcium = 66 mg
  • Calories from fat = 17%

Food exchanges: 3 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1/2 fat