This easy red lentil dal is healthy, full of flavour and delicious with steamed rice.
Masoor dal tadka is a popular dal in India and one of the easiest to make. The tadka (tempering), is a combination of Indian spices which are fried and immediately poured over the lentils to infuse the flavours.
Red lentils (masoor dal) are easily available and nice and cheap. Being high in protein, and rich in fibre, they form a valuable part of a healthy diet. They do not require pre-soaking, just rinse them well (till the water runs clear) and drain. Red lentils do cook quickly so there’s no need to get the pressure cooker/instant pot out.
As the lentils cook, they turn yellow and have a wonderful earthy flavour. Combine with the tempering of Indian spices for a delicious aroma and an incredibly tasty dish. This is Indian comfort food!
Serve with hot fluffy steamed rice
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Red lentil dal: Masoor dal tadka
- 1 ½ cups red lentils (masoor dal) washed and drained
- 5 cups water
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes adjust to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter omit for vegan
- 1 medium onions, diced
- 1 tablespoon oil to fry onion
- 2 green chillies, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves
For the tempering
- 3 tablespoons oil
- a pinch asafoetida optional
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, water, turmeric, salt and chilli flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. When the lentils are soft, add the butter and using a hand blender, partially mash the lentils. Keep the heat on very low.
- In a small saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onions till golden brown. Add the onions, green chillies and coriander leaves to the lentils.
- In the same small saucepan, heat the oil, and gently fry the asafoetida, garlic, ginger, cumin, and fenugreek seeds. As the garlic begins to turn golden, turn off the heat and immediately pour over the lentils and cover. Add lemon juice. Serve with steamed rice.
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