Masoor dal

Submitted by omghisam

A creamy spicy stew made from the split orange lentil. A perfect vegan side dish to any Indian dinner.


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 5 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced green chile
  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chiles, broken in half, seeds removed
  • 1/2 lemon


  1. Thoroughly wash and drain lentils and place in a large bowl. Boil the water or vegetable stock in a large pot.
  2. After water or stock begins to boil add lentils at high heat until pot returns boil. Turn heat to medium and boil for 5 minutes removing the froth from the surface with a slotted spoon.
  3. Cover pot and turn to low heat for 30 minutes. While pot is boiling in a large frying pan sauté onion, green chile, and garlic in a teaspoon of oil. As onion browns add the diced tomato and stir creating a tomato paste.
  4. With one tablespoon of water add the salt, coriander, cumin, and turmeric to the tomato paste.
  5. After the 30 minutes uncover the lentil pot and slowly stir in the tomato sauce until it becomes an even mixture.
  6. Add the green peas to the pot. Continue to let pot softly boil at low heat uncovered for 15 minutes, occasionally scraping the sides and bottom of the pot.
  7. In a small frying pan fry the dried red chile halves and black mustard seeds in 1 teaspoon oil on medium heat. As the seeds fry they will pot from the pan, when popping slows quickly pour the oil, mustard seeds, and red chile into the lentil pot and cover.
  8. Turn off heat and let pot sit covered for 3 minutes.
  9. Next, uncover pot and squeeze lemon into the pot to taste.
  10. Be sure to remove all the pieces of the dried chiles before serving.

Cook's Notes

The lentil stew thickens as it cools. During boiling if the stew becomes too thick add a teaspoon of water and if it is too thin boil uncovered for an additional few minutes.



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