Monday, December 28, 2015

Spiced Red Lentils (Masoor Dal)

When I need a meal in a quick minute, I almost always turn to lentils. Lentils are 25% protein, are High in fiber, Vitamin B and Iron.  Authentic Dal should have a porridge-like consistency, without the need for a blender.  You cannot substitute different lentils for red lentils in this dish; they have a very different texture. Plus, the red ones cook in 20 minutes! Just enough time to make the Coconut rice…

1 TBL coconut oil, melted
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground turmeric (I grate fresh turmeric into the pan about a half a thumb sized piece)
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic or 4 large shallots, minced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger (about a large thumb-sized piece)
4 cups water
 8 ½ oz / 1 ¼ cups red lentils, rinsed
1 lb / 500gr plum tomatoes, chopped (I often use tomatoes I have frozen in the summer, I put them as is in the pan until the defrost enough to “cut up” with scissors!)
½ cup fresh coriander, minced
2 TBL ghee or unsalted butter or olive oil
sea salt & pepper
Lemon wedges

Heat up a large saucepan over medium heat, until oil is shimmering.
Add powdered spices and stir until fragrant. Stir in onions and shallots (if using). Cook until softened, about 5 min. Stir in garlic (if using) and ginger and fresh turmeric (if using), about 30 sec.

Stir in water and red lentils. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to lowest or smallest burner and let simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender and resemble a coarse puree, 20-25 min.

Stir in tomatoes, fresh coriander, and buuter/oliveoil/ghee. Season with sea salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges. Coconut Rice  and Palak Paneer make great sides! (See recipes)


  1. As for me, Lentils are a wonderful choice for a quick meal. Thank you for this gorgeous and quick recipe!

  2. I agree! Lentils are my 'go to' meal. I change the flavor by using part amounts of coconut milk or veggie broth instead of water or tomatoes. We are having this tonight!