Red Lentil Dal

Soul-comforting at its best!

Soul-comforting at its best!

This recipe started as an experiment and is by no means authentic, but it’s flavourful and is a hit at home. I hope it will be a hit with you and your family. Enjoy!

>>I like to serve my Red Lentil Dal with a semi spicy Tomato Chokha (relish). Check out the recipe and complete your meal with this smoky and robust sauce.

Red Lentil Dal

  • Prep: 10 min
  • Total: 30 min

  • Vegetables


NOTE: This recipe serves about 4 persons if you have it with rice or naan.

- 1 cup red lentil dal (washed)
- 4 big or 6 small cloves of garlic (sliced)
- 2 shallots (sliced)
- 4 curry leaves (mine were dried)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp chili powder (use less if you like it less spicy)
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 ½ tsp garam masala
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- salt to taste

For the Tadka (tempering):
- 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves (sliced)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 2 whole red chili pepper
- 1 tsp Nigella seeds
- 4 curry leaves 


  1. Add the oil in a medium sized pot. Then cook the onions, garlic and curry leaves for a few minutes on medium heat until the onions are softened.

  2. Add the dried spices. When the onions have absorbed the spices then add the washed red lentils and mix well. Cook this for a few minutes before you add the water.

  3. Bring the dal to a boil and lower the heat. Place a lid on the pot and let the dal simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes check the dal and its consistency (it should be thick by now). Then add ¼ cup of coconut cream and stir it well.

  4. Check your dal for seasoning (I like to add a bit more of garam masala and salt) and set this aside.

  5. Finish the dal by making the Tadka. Heat up 1 1/2 tbsp of oil in a pan and fry the Tadka ingredients. Pour it over the dal and let it sizzle before you give it a final stir. Serve the dal over hot rice, with naan or just have it like this with a drizzle of coconut cream, fresh coriander and a chutney.

    - If you’re making this in advance heat up the dal with a little bit of water and add the Tadka later.
    - Replace the cups of water with chicken or vegetable stock. It gives the dal extra flavour.

    If you make my recipes please tag me in them and use #thespicedchickpearecipes. I'd love to see what you've made.