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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Spicy Indian Dahl Recipe
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    Spicy Indian Dahl

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    45 mins

    20 mins

    25 mins

    Daydream's Note:

    I just love a steaming hot bowl of spicy, aromatic Indian Dahl. I served this with Anu's Tangy Lemon Rice with Peanuts, and chapattis. A delicious, nourishing meal. If you prefer not to use ghee or butter, substitute vegetable oil. Add the amount of chile powder as per your own taste - less or more is up to you. If you prefer, you can use Toor dahl or even split and hulled Moong dahl, instead of Masoor dahl.

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    Units: US | Metric


    1. 1
      Place lentils in a colander and rinse under running cold tap water.
    2. 2
      Add lentils to a medium-sized, but deep, saucepan.
    3. 3
      For each cup of lentils, add 2 cups of water to the saucepan.
    4. 4
      Bring to the boil, turn heat down, and simmer 10 to 20 minutes.
    5. 5
      Do not allow lentils to become mushy- they should still be'al dente'.
    6. 6
      Drain when cooked.
    7. 7
      Melt ghee or butter over a medium flame.
    8. 8
      Add onions, garlic and ginger, and saute until onions are soft and light brown in colour.
    9. 9
      Add spices and salt, and cook a couple of minutes until lightly fried and bubbling.
    10. 10
      Add dahl, and stir well.
    11. 11
      Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water.
    12. 12
      Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, or until gravy thickens, stirring from time to time so that the dahl doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
    13. 13
      Add more water if necessary, or if a thinner dahl is desired.
    14. 14
      Garnish with fresh cilantro to serve.
    15. 15
      Variation: Add two chopped tomatoes with the onions.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on May 28, 2003


      This was delicious, healthy, nutritious, easily digestible, awesome and just simply "wonderful"! I made it for our dinner tonight as I wanted to surprise mom and dad with a Zaar recipe!). I did cut down "tremendously" on the quantity of fat, though, in this. Instead of using 12 tbsps(6oz.) of ghee/butter, I used Just ONE Tbsp. of regular oil in it(Ghee and butter are both too fatening and I'm back to counting cals!). Trust me, 1 tbsp. was more than sufficient!!! Moreover, I did use fresh ginger(peeled and grated). Honestly, I felt this should NOT be an optional ingredient, but one that's required. I did use 2 medium tomatoes as well(Tomatoes again are necessary if you want authentic Indian masoor dal). I used 3 cups of masoor dal and 6+1/2+3/4 cups of water(divided). The first 6 cups I added as for step number 3. The remaining water I added when I reached step number 11. What I particularly liked was the slightly crispy taste of the onions as I did not over-fry them. They were just soft and light brown as per the recipe. This dal was RIGHTLY SPICED- Not too much, nor too less. It was just perfect! I think now that I have suggested how I cut down on the oil(fat), nobody who wants to try this recipe need worry about any extra cals:) I had this with white bread while mom and dad relished it with hot chappatis. I will try it with Anu's Tangy lemon rice next time(that's another one of my favourite recipes). Together with this recipe, the dal and lemon rice will make a marriage in food heaven - this I can GUARANTEE! This is a WONDERFUL recipe and I really hope it gets many splendid reviews and is well received by all who try it. This will be a regular on our table- and that's Charishma's promise! :) A THOUSAND thanks to you for sharing this!

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    • on July 13, 2003


      This is a very easy and good recipe! Both my husband and I loved it .. I only used 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and it was quite enough .. I added the optional tomatoes .. thanks Daydream for another winner :)

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    • on November 04, 2012


      Great recipe and I did run into a glitch. I used cayenne pepper instead of chili powder and used 1 tsp as per a suggestion by another member. This was overly hot for me and it drowned out the other wonderful flavors. I had to add yogurt to turn the heat down. I take responsibility for this glitch as I should have added the cayenne a bit at a time. Will definitely make this again using a smaller amount of cayenne.

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No

    Read All Reviews (18)


    Nutritional Facts for Spicy Indian Dahl

    Serving Size: 1 (146 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 4

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 303.1
    Calories from Fat 74
    Total Fat 8.3 g
    Saturated Fat 4.2 g
    Cholesterol 16.3 mg
    Sodium 606.2 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 43.9 g
    Dietary Fiber 8.9 g
    Sugars 2.4 g
    Protein 16.4 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:


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