Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins

Serve this with rice, as part of your authentic Indian meal.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Rinse the lentils under running water, then put into a pan with the turmeric, a bit of salt and enough water to cover.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Turn down the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  4. At the end, they should be easy to squash.
  5. Meanwhile, make a spiced butter by heating the butter in shallow pan.
  6. Add the cumin seeds and cook for a few sounds, then add the onion and garlic.
  7. Cook for up to 20 minutes, until both are golden brown, stirring so they do not burn.
  8. Add the chilling and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  9. When the lentiles have absorbed all the water, beat them with a wooden spoon for a minute or two, until you have a soft and wet puree.
  10. Scoop into a warm dish.
  11. Pour the butter over the top and serve scattered with coriander leaves.
  12. Serve warm with rice.


Most Helpful

I made this for dinner tonight to serve alongside hot steaming white rice. This did not work out at all as given in this recipe for me. It was a total disaster when I made it as stated. First of all, Indian lentil curries do use a whole lot more of seasonings in them and they are really really flavourful- so flavourful that you could smell the aroma of the curry in the next room and they would get you running to the table. Secondly, every Indian housewife has a golden rule of using atleast 1 tomato(usually more, say 2-3 as for the qty. of lentils in this recipe) in her lentil curries if you observe or discuss with them. The reason is that the tomato(es) on getting tender, gives out water and flavour, both of which are a must for the dal to be a success. Anyways, these were just for your information. Now, I did make this dal exactly as per your recipe. I did substitute the chilli pepper with a single slit green chilli. First of all, I was shocked on seeing the amount of oil(which I used as a substitute for butter)that this had. I had to actually remove almost all the oil(except a little more than 1/2 tbsp). Then, I had to think quickly and actually fix this right before my guests popped in. So this is what I did:- I added 2 peeled and chopped medium tomatoes, 5 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 4 1/2 tsps. corriander powder, 1 1/2 tsps. red chilli powder, 1 1/4 tsps. dried kasoori methi(crumbled between my palms), the juice of 1 lemon(freshly squeezed), 1 1/2 tsps. salt and 1 tsp. turmeric powder. In addition to this, I added 3/4 cup + a little over half a cup of water as well. I stirred this all together nicely and kept it on low flame to allow all the masalas to blend well with the dal and make it more flavourful and truly what an Indian dal must taste like(about 10-15 minutes). I garnished it with fresh corriander leaves(finely chopped). The dal now tasted so good and smelt so incredible that my guests couldn't wait to sit down to eat and mom actually gave me this beautiful compliment, "Chinu, you made this from a zero to a hero!"(as she had been taste-testing this while it cooked as per this recipe). By the way, I made this yesterday as well using Red lentils(masoor dal) just as I have just mentioned and it went very well with hot white rice. I am sorry but the recipe as it is mentioned here was really really horrible. I am sorry to use those words, but honestly, that is how it was. I really wish you would try this dal as per the way I did rectify and improve it. It really is tasty if you try it with these changes. I hope you will.

Charishma_Ramchandani June 16, 2003

Brilliant recipe. Turned out very tasty! It's not like the dal I ate in Nepal but it actually tastes a lot better. Thanks!

queengasbag February 27, 2010

I don't know any Indian housewives, so I can't speak to this recipe's authenticity as well as Charishma, but I made this recipe more or less as written (omitted the onion and chili, tripled the garlic) and ended up with a dal identical to the garlicky, soupy, buttery, smooth and somewhat bland sort commonly served in small cups as a condiment in Indian restaurants here in New York. I don't think this recipe was intended to be a curry, and it would definitely make a very bad curry if it were--this is in no sense a meal--but as a condiment, it is delicious. Dip some naan or paratha in it, spoon it over your rice, or whatever. I had mine this afternoon for a snack with some pita. Only one note: the recipe says to sauté the butter, cumin, onion, and garlic for a full 20 minutes. If you are using onion, you should add it to the pan several minutes before the cumin and garlic, as they will likely burn before the onions are golden if added all at once. I also prefer mincing the garlic and onion.

mccormack.kathleen August 25, 2008

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