Red Lentil Dahl

If you’ve never tried dahl before, you must give this dish a go! Dahl is a meal that many families eat in India on a regular basis. It also happens to be one of our favorite things to eat. We eat it pretty much every week in our house. It’s made completely from red lentils and spices making it easy on the waistline and easy on the pocket book. It is also made completely from pantry staples meaning that if you need an extra meal to get your family through the week, you’ll already have all the ingredients to throw this one together. If all of this isn’t good enough, it also only takes 10 minutes to make!

Here’s everything you’ll need. When searching for these spices and ingredients in your grocery store, I recommend checking in the international sections. You can normally find larger bags of these spices and the needed ingredients for a fraction of the price. For example, the giant bag of turmeric below was purchased from the international aisle for less than £1 while a small shaker of it was close to £1.50.


Start by bringing 5 1/2 cups of water to a boil.


Add in 2 1/2 cups of red or pink lentils and stir.


I also add in a tablespoon of olive oil at this point. It prevents the lentils from getting stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture back to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring periodically.


While the lentils cook, mix up all of the other ingredients. You will need 4 tbs of curry paste, 1/2 can of coconut milk, 1 tsp salt, freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne (or more if you like it spicy), 4 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp chili powder, and 2 tbs sugar. Mix it all together.


After 10 minutes, stir the lentils to be sure they are all broken down.


Stir in the spice mixture.


Taste for seasoning and garnish with green onion or cilantro if desired.


Serve over basmati rice and top with greek yogurt or sour cream. We tend to use greek yogurt because my husband eats the yogurt as a snack so it’s normally in the fridge.




Indian Dahl


  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups red or pink lentils
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4 tbs curry paste
  • 1/2  14 oz can coconut milk (shake before opening, it will separate)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • green onions or cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • greek yogurt or sour cream for serving (optional)


Bring the water to a boil. Add the red lentils and olive oil. Stir and bring back to a boil.

Simmer for 10 minutes stirring periodically.

While lentils are cooking, mix up all other ingredients and set aside.

After 10 minutes, check to be sure the lentils are broken down. If so, turn off the heat and stir in the spice mixture.

Garnish with green onion or cilantro and serve over basmati rice. Top with greek yogurt or sour cream.



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