There are many different factors to consider when storing red lentil dahl. These include when it is best to freeze it, how long it lasts in the fridge, and how to reheat it after thawing it. This article will give you some tips on how to store this versatile food.
A hearty and inexpensive Indian-inspired dish that will fill you up is red lentil dhal. It’s a straightforward one-pot dish with lentils, high in protein, warm spices and aromatics, and layers of earthy flavors. Enjoy it by scooping it up with vegan naan bread!
What is Red Lentil Dahl?
A few different names know Dahl; however, in the UK, dahl seems to be the most popular. It is also known as dal, daal, or dahl. For dried or split pulses, the term “dal” is used. It is also the name given to several soups and stews made with pulses.
Masoor Dal is another name for red lentil dahl. This dish, also known as baghaar or chowk, consists of a mixture of spices that have been heated through and folded into pulses before serving. The spices and aromatics added to the dal are known as Tarka.
With so many variations, this dish is incredibly adaptable. Every recipe depends on individual preferences; this is my rendition of one I’ve been making for years and has evolved into a favorite.
Red Lentil Dahl
Red lentil dhal is a versatile, healthy meal that can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge. Unlike most prepared meals, this dish does not need to be soaked or cooked. Just add water, salt, and turmeric. Stir once or twice a day. If you are reheating it, add vegetable broth or water as desired. Similar recipes can also be prepared with other lentils.
To make this dish, wash and sort lentils. To boil the lentils, add a cup of water. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. The lentils will be tender when they reach the right cooking temperature for extra flavor, minced jalapeno or serrano pepper. To make the dish less spicy, substitute a teaspoon of dried ground turmeric.
Shelf Life of Dahl
Dahl is an Indian dish made from split lentils. It is a healthy and filling meal. It is made with aromatic spices and creamy coconut milk. It is also cheap and easy to make. There are several ways to prepare this nutritious food. To prepare lentil dhal, all you need is a few pantry ingredients.
Dahl can be stored in the fridge for up to a day. It can also be frozen. It can keep up to six months if frozen. However, it is not recommended for long-term storage. This dish is best served within two or three days. Before storing it in the fridge, make sure that it cools completely. This step is critical as a sudden temperature change accelerates the dahl’s deterioration.
Best Time to Freeze Dahl
The best time to freeze dahl is before it is time to cook it. This will preserve its flavor and texture. Once frozen, you can reheat it by placing it in the fridge overnight, but it is important to thaw the dahl slowly. Thawing it quickly will change its texture and flavor.
The best time to freeze dahl will vary depending on how fresh it is. Fresh dahl will keep well for a couple of days in the refrigerator but should not be kept longer. Once frozen, you should allow it to cool down to room temperature, but do not leave it in the open for six months.
You can reheat dahl if you need to store leftovers for later use. You can reheat it for up to five days, but remember that it will degrade its flavor and quality. To reheat it, place it in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
Storing Lentils in the Fridge
You should check the dried lentils’ expiry date to ensure they are still fresh. Depending on the conditions, lentils can last up to three days in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen for up to six months. When storing dried lentils, ensure that the cans are tightly closed and their lids are secure. You should also rinse and dry the lentils before storing them.
Cooking lentils kills bacteria and helps them retain their freshness. In general, lentils last up to seven days if cooked properly. The longer they stay in the fridge, the less likely they are to spoil. Typically, lentils are acidic to neutral in ph.
How to Make Easy Red Lentil Dahl?
Below is a full recipe card with measurements that you can print.
There are countless variations of Dahl recipes, but this one is simple and low-maintenance.
Nothing could be simpler. To a big pot, add all the ingredients.
After boiling everything, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. To prevent the lentils from sticking to the pan’s bottom, stir them occasionally.
Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the dhal has thickened and the lentils are tender.
If desired, top with your preferred toppings after seasoning to taste.
Tips For Making Best Easy Red Lentil Dahl
- Dahl shouldn’t be too thick or too thin in consistency. Feel free to add a little more water if it is too thick. Cook it a little longer if it’s too thin.
- Lack of red lentils? No issue. You can use brown lentils, yellow lentils, or green lentils as a replacement. Extend the cooking time a little bit to make sure they are soft.
How to Serve Easy Red Lentil Dahl?
It tastes great on its own or with fresh cilantro, coriander, and steaming brown rice. Keep the naan bread on hand to sop up the liquids.
Serve it with my Vegan Chickpea Curry, Indian Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk, or Easy Chicken Tikka Masala for an Indian-inspired vegetarian feast.
If you like, you may serve this recipe over baked potatoes or sweet potatoes to make it more of a meal.
Before eating, toss some spinach into your dhal until it’s barely wilted if you’re trying to lighten things up. For a meal higher in protein, it’s also fantastic with a fried egg on top.
Can you Make Red Lentil Dahl in the Instant Pot?
Yes, you can! In the oiled pot, use the Saute mode for cooking the aromatics and spices until they are soft. Before adding the lentils, water, tomatoes, chilies, and half of the cilantro, stop the Saute mode.
Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure with the top lid sealed. Five minutes should pass naturally before the remaining pressure is released. Press Cancel after the pin has fallen, then open the lid and stir in the remaining cilantro, salt, and lemon juice.
Is Red Lentil Dahl Good for you?
Absolutely. Red lentils contain protein, fiber, iron, folate, and numerous other vitamins and minerals. Additional components in this Indian lentil dish also add to the dish’s overall healthfulness.
Turmeric, for instance, possesses both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Additionally, the curcumin included in turmeric guards against heart disease and may fend off some malignancies.
Coriander/cilantro seeds, also present in curry powder, may support bone health, lower cholesterol, and control blood sugar levels. For people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), it also serves as a digestive aid and lessens the intensity and frequency of the symptoms.
Like coriander, cumin helps with digestion and may be beneficial for diabetes. Additionally, cumin contains a lot of plant-based iron.
How are Red Lentils Different from Yellow Lentils and Other Types of Lentil Varieties?
They have a texture and flavor that are comparable to yellow lentils. Red lentils cook more quickly than other lentils and have a softer texture. They also have a distinctively lovely salmon-pink color. They taste mild, sweet, and just a touch nutty. They work best in recipes that don’t need a lot of texture because they tend to be mushy and lose their shape when cooked.
Can you Eat Lentils Raw?
Raw lentils have lectins, a class of protein that, unlike other proteins, binds to your digestive tract and can cause several toxic reactions, including vomiting and diarrhea. Yikes.
Fortunately, lectins are heat sensitive and degrade into easier-to-digest components when cooked. Some legumes, like red kidney beans, require boiling to denature the lectins completely. Unfortunately, most dried beans also require a second hour or more of simmering. Here is a good recipe for dried beans that can be used for various purposes.
But lentils usually cook much more quickly! They are smaller, which contributes to the reason, but they also have much lower lectin levels than other beans. Hemagglutinating units, or hau, are used to measure the concentrations of a particular lectin (known as PHA). The FDA states that the average hau content of raw red kidney beans is between 20,000 and 70,000. Raw lentils? Between 513 and 617 were discovered, according to a 2012 study published in the Indian Journal of Agricultural Biochemistry. So, if you accidentally undercook a batch or try to bulk up a smoothie with some uncooked lentil seeds, don’t worry. It might make your stomach growl, but it shouldn’t make you run for the bathroom. To be safe, we still advise cooking them.
How to Tell if Leftover Lentils are Bad?
We are all aware of how useful leftovers can be on busy days.
How can you tell if your leftover lentils are bad, though? You must first smell them before doing anything else.
Lentils should be thrown away if they smell sulfurous or are not as fresh as they should be.
The next step is inspecting the dish’s surface for mold growth.
When mold develops on food, it will appear green or blueish.
Once more, this could indicate that your leftovers are bad, so get rid of them immediately.
The texture of your lentils must be examined, which is the final and most crucial step.
You shouldn’t eat them if they are slimy, mushy, or soggy because they have probably gone bad.
The lentils are also likely to be bad if they are kept in the refrigerator or freezer for an extended period.
Lentils are now used and consumed more frequently due to the growing popularity of plant-based recipes. Even if you are not vegan or vegetarian, lentils can be used as a meat substitute or added to salads for flavor.
We hope these three techniques for reheating lentils will prevent you from ever throwing away a batch of this delectable and nutritious legume. By leaving comments below, let us know what other techniques you find most effective.