Lentil Dal: A Timeless Indian Comfort


Dive into the heart of Indian cuisine with Lentil Dal, a comforting and nutritious staple that showcases the simplicity and depth of traditional flavors. This dal recipe combines tender, creamy lentils with a vibrant mix of spices, tomatoes, and herbs, simmered to perfection. Each spoonful offers a harmonious blend of warmth, spice, and nourishment, making it a beloved dish for its wholesomeness and ease of preparation. Perfect as a hearty main or a soothing side, Lentil Dal is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of India.

Lentil Dal: A Timeless Indian Comfort

Preparation Details

  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Serving Size: 1 bowl

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 210
  • Protein: 13g
  • Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fiber: 15g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 400mg


  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Detailed Method of Preparation

  1. In a large pot, combine lentils, water, turmeric, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until lentils are soft and broken down.
  2. In a separate pan, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for a few seconds.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger to the pan. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
  4. Stir in the diced tomato, ground coriander, garam masala, and chili powder. Cook until tomatoes soften and the oil starts to separate from the mixture.
  5. Pour the spice mixture into the cooked lentils, stirring well to combine. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  6. Adjust seasoning with salt, to taste. If the dal is too thick, add a little water to reach your desired consistency.
  7. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with lemon wedges on the side.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Soaking lentils for a few hours before cooking can reduce cooking time and make them more digestible.
  • For a richer flavor, add a splash of coconut milk in the final simmering stage.
  • Serve with rice or naan for a complete meal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use a different type of lentil?

Yes, you can use yellow, green, or brown lentils, but cooking times may vary.

How can I make this dal spicier or milder?

Adjust the amount of red chili powder according to your spice preference.

Can Lentil Dal be stored and reheated?

Yes, it refrigerates well for up to 3 days and can be gently reheated, adding a little water if it thickens too much.

Let the comforting embrace of Lentil Dal nourish your body and soul, offering a taste of India's rich culinary traditions with every bite. This dish is a celebration of flavors, textures, and the simple joy of home-cooked meals. Here’s to the delights of dal, a humble yet magnificent feast that brings warmth and comfort to any table.