My Masoor Dal

    40 mins

    Healthy and tasty dal, great as a side or main dish.

    991 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 200g masoor dhal (red lentils)
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons curry paste, such as Pataks
    • 1 tablespoon curry powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
    • 600g tomato paste

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:40min 

    1. Wash the dal in cold water until the water runs clear (this is very important or the lentils will lose texture). Put the dhal in a pot with water to cover, and simmer covered until lentils are tender (add more water if necessary).
    2. While the dal is cooking: In a large frying pan, caramelise the onion in vegetable oil.
    3. While the onions are cooking, combine the curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chilli powder, salt, sugar, garlic and ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix well. When the onions are cooked, add the curry mixture to the onions and cook over a high heat stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.
    4. Stir in the tomato paste and reduce heat, allow the curry base to simmer until the dal is ready.
    5. When the dhal is tender, drain briefly (the lentils should have absorbed most of the water but you don't want the curry to be too wet). Mix the curry base into the dal and serve immediately.


    Dal derives from the Sanskrit to split.

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    Reviews in English (916)


    Very tasty. This recipe will vary in taste and heat according to your curry paste. Notes about lentils: I have never cooked lentils before so I thought I would share some tips for others like me. First off, they are very small so don't try to use a strainer with larger holes (Yes, I know this is obvious). Rinse them well until the water runs clear. Wet lentils stick to everything! Try to get them in the right pot the first time. I found a spatula was good for transferring them. Red lentils cook fast! I boiled mine for 2 mins then simmered for about 8 mins. At that point they were mostly tender. I transferred them into the sauce, mixed well and let them finish cooking. They didn't get too mushy like many people have mentioned.  -  13 Jun 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I have never sent a review for any recipe that I have tried. But, this recipe deserves one! It is excellent. I used fresh tomatoes and then put them into the caramelized onions. I also simmered all the spices together in a little oil, as taught to me by an Indian cook. Then, tossed in the garlic and ginger; continued for about 1 more minute. Afterwards, I put the tomato and onions into the spice mix. Then, added the lentils... AWESOME!  -  11 May 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I can't believe I never reviewed this recipe. I've been making it once a week for a long time now - it's excellent. The ONLY thing I changed with the recipe was to replace the tomato puree with one can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Chopped Tomatoes. It gives it a much better texture and the fire roasted tomatoes just add another level of flavor that regular tomatoes don't. I can't believe how many people are making this without curry paste. It's the most important ingredient in a curry. I serve it with jasmine rice and hot naan. Oh, and don't be alarmed if the lentils look rather mushy before you add them to the spices and tomatoes. You haven't done anything wrong, and they'll still taste just as good.  -  17 Sep 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)