My Successful Lal Masoor Dal (Indian Red Lentils)

If you read my post Bunless Burgers and Pasta Salad Oh My! I mentioned my failed attempt at making Lal Masoor Dal. Well I’m not one to give up easily and the other night I tried it again annnndddd …. drum roll please …. it was a huge success! It was such a success that Mr. R went back for seconds! Finally we have found one bean that we like!

Lal Masoor Dal is a mainstay of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi cuisine. There are many variations of Dal using chickpeas, yellow pigeon peas, mung beans, red lentils and kidney beans.    Dals are usually served over rice or with a side of flatbread. To tell you the truth, I could have skipped the rice and ate this Dal all by itself. I am sooo glad I tried it again and would have been very sad to have missed this wonderful dish.

Not only is Lal Masoor Dal delicious it’s extremely nutritious, makes a wonderful comfort meal and is an excellent alternative to meat.

Before I give you the recipe I want to note just a few things; (1) I served this dish with an organic brown/wild rice mix and the rice gave it a wonderful nutty note that worked very well; (2) the spice quantities in the recipe below are a little less than what I used so you may want to up your spices if you are like me and enjoy a well seasoned dish, for us the listed spices were a little bland.

Sooo, on to the recipe …

Recipe adapted from The Easy Indian 
(I have also included a video tutorial from The Easy Indian below)


4 cups water
1 cup red lentils (lal masoor dal)
1 tbsp pure olive oil (ghee is preferred)
½ TB organic tomato paste
½ medium organic white onion, diced
Juice of ½ organic lemon, plus more for garnishing
1 organic green chili (optional) (I used Anaheim) 
½  tsp ground cumin (cumin seeds are preferred)
½  tsp coriander seeds
½  tsp turmeric
½  tsp chili powder (optional)
Pinch of cayenne powder
Salt or to taste
1.  In a medium sauce pan boil lentils, turmeric, 4 cups water in medium heat for about 20 minutes or until tender (ensure water does not evaporate).

2. A few minutes before the lentils are cooked, heat olive oil (or ghee) in a separate sauté pan on medium-high heat.

3. When olive oil starts to bubble (within a minute or so) add ground cumin or cumin seeds.

4. When the cumin releases its fragrance, add onions and brown.

5. When onions start turning brown, add coriander powder, chili powder, green chilies and tomato paste, sauté for approximately 30 seconds.

6. Add sauted mixture to lentils and stir.

7. Squeeze lemon juice to taste and serve.

Do you have an great Indian recipe to share?

See you in the comments!

Mrs. R

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