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4.8 from 35 votes

Dal Nirvana

Dal nirvana is a simple, creamy lentil dish seasoned with aromatic Indian spices.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Cost: $3.39 recipe / $0.57 serving
Servings: 6
Author: Adapted from Steamy Kitchen


  • 1 cup dry brown lentils $0.31
  • 15 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes $1.49
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.12
  • 1 inch fresh ginger $0.07
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper $0.03
  • 1/2 tsp cumin $0.03
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.17
  • to taste salt and pepper $0.05
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk or cream $0.75
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.37


  • Place the lentils in a pot and cover with a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil until tender (about ten minutes). Drain the lentils in a colander.
  • While the lentils are boiling, mince the garlic and peel and grate the ginger (use a small cheese grater). Return the drained lentils to the pot (medium heat) and add the butter, ginger, garlic, cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper.
  • Add the can of tomatoes and one cup of water. Stir it all together, bring it to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Put a lid on the pot and let it simmer for half an hour. The mixture should be soft and thick after a half hour. If it is not, continue to simmer, adding more water if it dries out. You want the end product to be thick, not watery.
  • Stir in the evaporated milk or cream and garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro. Serve over rice or with naan bread for dipping!