Yogurt made better

This recipe transforms the humble lentil into a fragrant and soothing Indian-inspired dish. You can use any type of lentils that you want in this recipe, so don’t worry if you can’t find any red lentils.  To fully appreciate all that daal has to offer, you need to temper your ingredients to release all the flavor and fragrance. All you do to temper ingredients is follow the recipe instructions and cook the ingredients other than the lentils in hot oil as described.


  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed (can sub other types of lentils)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced into rounds, rinsed
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup Forager Project unsweetened plain cashew milk yogurt
  • Cooked Jasmine or Basmati rice (for serving)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned around the edges, 5–7 minutes.
  • Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring often, just to take the edge off garlic, about 30 seconds. Add ⅓ cup water and simmer, stirring occasionally, until water evaporates about 1 minute.
  • Add the lentils, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add 4 cups water to the lentil and spice mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are very tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 20-25 minutes; season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Cover dal with a lid and keep warm over low heat while you make the toppings.
  • Finely grate the zest from lime into a small bowl. Cut lime in half and squeeze juice into a bowl (approximately 2 tablespoons). Add red onion, sugar, and a large pinch of salt and toss, squeezing onion with your hands to help it soften quickly.
  • Mix cashew milk yogurt and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl; season with salt.
  • Serve dal over rice and top with the cashew milk yogurt sauce and pickled onions.
Red Lentil Dal with Vegan Yogurt Sauce and Pickled Onions