Indian Red Lentil Curry (Masoor Dal)

I can remember the day back in 2010 like it was yesterday.

It was a hot day in Santa Cruz (there aren't many of them...usually it's just warm).

On that day though, a very special friend of ours, extended an invitation for my husband and I to come and share dinner with he and his wife that evening.

We didn't have anything to do, so we accepted.

He was excited to share with us:

"I want to treat you to the cuisine that I grew up with. It's about all I can make very well. You see, people think I am just some tall, white haired, pale caucasian guy, but I am very much Indian", having grew up there, and knowing the language he said this proudly.

"I want to make for you some curry lentils. It's my favorite Indian dish", he declared, "It is called masoor dal, and is served with fragrant basmati rice in India, you will love it".

Well, we let him cook, as he shared with us stories after stories concerning his life and missionary work over in India. We could tell he was cooking up something exotic, because the spices that were being used (at that time) to our noses were vaguely discernible, but decidedly delicious - and indeed (YUM) fragrant!

That day came, and passed - time flies.

And the one thing we really never got to do was get a recipe from our dear friend.

However, we worked at it. My hubby is persistent like that!

And now we have a perfect recipe for you!

Hope you love it!


2 tbsp olive oil, for frying
2 1/2 cups of red lentils, rinsed and drained
6 cups water + 3 tsp vegan chicken'ish seasoning
3/4 to 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped thin
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomato, diced small
1 1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
a couple dashes of ground ginger (or to taste)
1 tsp Celtic sea salt (or to taste)
A big squeeze of fresh lemon
Fresh cilantro, stirred in


Place oil in large pot on the stove at medium-low heat.

Add onions and garlic to sauté until nicely browned, but not burnt.

Add all seasonings, and stir the seasonings into the garlic and onions well.

Combine in a bowl the water and chicken'ish seasoning, and add to the pot.

Once the liquid/seasoning mixture comes to a boil, add the lentils and diced tomatoes. Stir, and allow it to cook until the lentils become light yellow, mushy, and everything comes together like a thick curry soup.

Squeeze in fresh lemon if you would like, and once everything is well incorporated, remove dal from heat.

Stir in fresh chopped cilantro.

Serve with fresh steamed basmati rice.

red lentil curry - masoor dhal


Anonymous said...

what do you mean prepare the spices? Should I do anything besides mix them in? Should they be fried or something?

Bella M. said...

Thank you for that question. I have went and corrected the language. This is simply an "organization of the spices", not a cooking of them. I wanted this recipe to be easy to use and I know that when I said "preparing" of the spices it seemed like I wanted you to temper them or something. Not so for this recipe :) It's simple and delish :) Thanks for asking for clarification.

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