janet @ the taste space

Creamy Broccoli Dal

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on June 4, 2012 at 6:36 AM

There are many reasons why I love Rob, but one of them is that he is really laid back.  He doesn’t stress out when the fridge is already full and I come home with even more veggies or when I buy, um, another cookbook, or two… I also love the way he approaches cooking: a few staple recipes interspersed with new recipes.

Recently, he’s been culling meals from our favourites. Rob’s Repeater Recipes as I have tagged them on the site: Dal Bhat, Besan Chilla, Tamarind Lentils and this Creamy Broccoli Dal from Vegan Yum Yum. Why mess with success? They fall under “you can make these dishes for me anytime” category. Definitely comfort food.  I have mentioned this delightful dal a few times, but have yet to share the recipe because we didn’t have any photos. Since we usually make this whenever we have a surplus of broccoli, I knew we would eventually capture it at a photogenic angle. I tried… there is something about a slurry of a soup that makes it hard to look as great as it tastes.

This is one of our go-to recipes because it is so packed with flavours. Indian-inspired flavours like cumin, mustard seeds, turmeric, chile flakes and garam masala really make this pop. The red lentils cook away into a creamy background interspersed with bits of broccoli (we use both the florets and stem). If you are anti-bits, just use the stems. If you are anti-broccoli (gasp!), just use the stems, because only the florets give it away that veggies are hidden in here. The almond milk helps to add an extra level of creaminess.

As written, the recipe serves 2-3 people. We’ve realized that doubling it makes the most sense since we like it so much. 🙂

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this week’s Weekend Wellness  and to Cookbooks Sundays.

Creamy Broccoli Dal
Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
2 cups broccoli stalks and florets, stalks peeled and everything finely chopped (a food processor helps with this!) – we usually use one broccoli crown with its stem
2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 tbsp soy sauce (or salt to taste)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2-3/4 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

1. Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add in the cumin and mustard seeds, and cook until fragrant, around a minute. Add in the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, around 8 minutes. Add in rinsed lentils, broccoli and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are soft.

2. Remove from heat and add in soy milk, soy sauce, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and chili flakes. Adjust salt to taste. Serve immediately. Can serve with rice, but usually I just eat it like a soup!

Serves 2-3. Please double this recipe! 🙂

  1. A terrific idea to add broccoli to dal, both for the added nutrition and for the feeling of not eating “just” some lentils.

  2. What a cool idea! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of using broccoli in a dal. I also really like the bot of soy sauce in this – I mush prefer that depth of flavor to just adding more plain salt!

  3. I’ve never eaten a dal with broccoli. What a clever recipe! Thanks!

  4. This sounds great! I bet kohlrabi would be a good substitute vegetable for serious broccoli-haters–or maybe just for people who get too much kohlrabi in their CSA box and have no idea what to do with it. 🙂

  5. Someone who doesn’t like broccoli?!?!? How weird. I ADORE the stuff…and these flavors. Definitely need to try this soon!

  6. I think I’ve seen one good review and one not-so-great review of this recipe on other blogs so far, so I’m glad you posted your version! It reminds me of the traditional broccoli soup I used to like as a kid but much more suited to my current tastes with all the Indian spices (and not to mention much healthier sounding)!

  7. i havent ever tried broccoli in daal. sounds like a fun idea. i am digging your creations with that bengali quinoa bowl! the raw mango daal that ma sometimes makes, she uses cooked toor daal. i think u are on point with the sour acidic raw mango not letting the daal cook.

  8. A scrumptious combination and dish! I am a big fan of broccoli, red lentils and spices.



  9. […] The Taste Space shared Creamy Broccoli Dal […]

  10. I would never have thought to put broccoli in an Indian-style dish, but this sounds great. Bookmarked!

  11. This looks fabulous for any time of year–summer OR fall. 😉 The only way I can eat broccoli so it agrees to me is blended up in a soup so it would be perfect for me. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays.

  12. […] to normal. Pull out some freezer meals. Forge ahead with some comforting pantry-friendly meals.  Rob repeats recipes and sometimes I do, too. This is one of those dishes. Uber comforting.  While I describe this as […]

  13. OMG – I am all over this. He, who is near and dear to me, adores broccoli – his absolute favourite vegetable – and we both love dahl. This is definitely on my must try list.

    Thanks for sharing at Cookbook Sundays xo

  14. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for eons. I made a double-batch last night and had to stop myself from sitting cross-legged in front of the pot and eating it all. Amazing! I whizzed both the onion and the broccoli in the food processor so I didn’t have to chop a thing — looking forward to the leftovers for the next few meals.

    I’m going through your archives obsessively bookmarking all your homemade power bars. With all the training I’m usually ready to gnaw off my own arm at about 3pm, and so many of your bars look perfect for staving off insane hunger and providing fuel for post-work and pre-supper trail runs!

    • Thanks, Jodi. We love, love, love this dish and I think some people love it and others don’t get it. One of my friends made it said it had no flavour (I was mind boggled). Anyways, so happy to hear you liked it too! I like the food processor idea, we should do that next time.

      And yes, datey treats are perfect for long bouts of exercise. Now that the weather has improved (at least temporarily) I hope to get out more, too. 🙂

  15. […] wants to healthify. Rob also loves adding broccoli stems to besan chilla and tofu scrambles and creamy broccoli dal continues to be one of our favourite […]

  16. […] following days.  Cooking, instead of studying, seemed like a better idea to me, too. Dal bhat or creamy broccoli dal would have been a delicious comfort meal but now I had that arugula to […]

  17. […] lunch I had (unphotographed) Creamy broccoli dal from this recipe – […]

  18. […] of my favourites have already been shared  (Tamarind Lentils, Bengali Cauliflower Dal, Creamy Broccoli Dal, and Root Veggie Curry), so it does not surprise me to share yet another easy, delicious and […]

  19. […] to the Indian curries Rob and I cook up each week. Certainly, we have our favourites on a constant rotation, but most of our curries involve simmering some beans with garlic, ginger and turmeric […]

  20. […] frigid kitchen but it would have quickly warmed it up. (I opted for a quickie rewarming of leftover broccoli dal instead). It is a rather simple combination of spices and nooch for roasted chickpeas and brussels […]

  21. […] More of a creature of habit than me, Rob has been cooking through our favourites, Dal Bhat, Tamarind Lentils and innumerable batches of Creamy Broccoli Dal. […]

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