Bread Bowl with Dal (Spicy Red Lentil)

It has been a while since I posted a recipe. Life has been busy since I came back from India. I have finally settled, I am going to start posting recipes every week. I made two recipes this weekened and will posting those this week and the next. Also, I had promised that I would post a video of the Chivda recipe that I posted several weeks back. Unfortunately, the video editing software still is not working right. I am in the process of cleaning up my computer to free up disk space and remove unnecessary programs from it. Hopefully, after that the software works fine, I can edit the video of the recipe. My plan is to start posting videos for recipes where it might help to make the steps clearer. It does add a significant amount of time to the posting of recipes as now I have to worry about taking the proper videos and also editing them! In the end though it might be worth it it makes the recipes clearer to understand to the readers as video is worth a thousand words.


I am posting a modified version of this recipe from a cookbook called The Essential Appetizers Cookbook. It has appetizer recipes from various parts of the world. They have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes from Europe to Asia. The recipes are fusion versions of the originals and are quite tasty. I have taken one of them and posted a modified version of the recipe.


When the bread is pushed into the muffin tins, make sure you push it through till it touches the bottom of the muffin tin so that the bottoms of the bread bowl can bake too.

The finished bread bowl looks as shown in the pic.

Bread Bowl with Spicy Red Lentil (or Dal)

This is an excellent appetizer. The bread bowls can be made a day in advance and stored in an airtight container.

1/2 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
1 cup vegetable stock
(I used 1 cup water + 1/2 cube of Rapunzel pure organic vegetable bouillon with sea salt)
24 slices of white bread
(for gluten-free option, use Udi’s bread)
2 tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red or green serrano chili, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional for an extra kick)
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

For making the bread bowl:
12-hole mini muffin tin

Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse the red lentil with couple of washes of water. Then add the red lentil to the pan, stock (if using) or a cup of water with 1/2 cube of vegetable bouillon with sea salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer and cook covered for 10 minutes or until tender. You will notice the color disappear and that is normal. Stir occasionally until the lentils are soft.

Take the bread and cut into 2 1/2 – 3 inch rounds. Roll with a pin to flatten the rounds. Warm the ghee (or clarified butter) and brush on both sides of the bread rounds. Push the bread into the 12-hole mini muffin tin to form a bread bowl. Bake for 12-15 minutes until firm and golden.

In a small frying pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of ghee on medium heat. Once the ghee is heated, add the mustard seeds and fry them till they start popping. Have a lid handy to avoid the seeds flying all over. Then add the cumin seeds and fry for 20-30 seconds until they are browned. Then add the coriander powder, garlic and chopped serrano chili and cook for another 20-30 seconds or so. Stir the spice mixture into the cooked lentils, add the ginger and turmeric and let it cook for 1 minute. Season with salt.

When ready to serve, fill each bread bowl with 2-3 teaspoons of dal and some chopped cilantro.

You can make the bread bowl a day before and store in an airtight container.

Makes enough for 6-8 people

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