Spicy Indian Dahl

READY IN: 45mins
Recipe by Daydream

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.

Top Review by Charishma_Ramchanda

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!

Ingredients Nutrition


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

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