Vegan Mango Lentil Dal

We've been trying lots of new recipes this week since we decided to do a week of vegan eating. We've found a lot of great family friendly vegan recipes, and this mango lentil dal has been one of our favorites so far. I got the original idea for this recipe from Fried Dandelions, but adapted it a little bit to speed up the cooking process a bit and meet our family's preferences. 

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What is a Dal?
Dal is a phrase often used in Indian cooking and refers to a dish made with beans and pulses, particularly lentils. We went through eight years of marriage never cooking lentils, but this last year have tried many recipes and have come to really love them. It always seems intimidating to cook with something new, but lentils are a great protein source, cook easily, and can be the base for many delicious recipes. 

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Can you cook with canned mangos?
The original recipe for this Dal called for fresh mangos. They're super tricky though because they need to be the perfect amount of ripeness or they taste awful, and cutting a mango is not my idea of a good time while trying to get dinner on the table. We used canned diced mango in this recipe and it turned out really great. I haven't tried fresh mango to compare, but no one in our home was opposed. Just make sure to drain off all the liquid before cooking. 

What to serve with Mango Lentil Dal?
We loved serving this over some white rice. If you're looking to up the nutritional value you could totally use brown rice, or even quinoa to serve with your Dal. My kids tend to do better with white rice, which is why we went for that, and figured their was plenty of protein and nutrients in the dal to make up for whatever we were lacking with our rice. 

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Ingredients:
1 cup dry white rice
1 cup dry red lentils
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 onion diced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
15oz can diced mango, drained
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:
In a small pot, prepare your rice to package instructions. 

In a medium pot add your lentils and 4 cups of water. Bring water to a boil, and then lower the temperature and allow to simmer with the pot partially covered until most of the water is absorbed and lentils are tender. About 15-20 minutes.

In a medium skillet, heat your oil, and then add in your onion, garlic, and all of your spices. Cook until the onion is tender and the spices are fragrant. Add in your diced mangos, making sure to drain all the liquid from the can before adding to the onion and spice mixture. Heat all the way through for 1-2 minutes. 

Once your lentils are cooked and most of the water is absorbed, add the onion and mango mixture to the lentils and stir to combine. Serve over rice, and enjoy!


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