This is seriously the Best Red Lentil Dahl recipe! It's a tasty easy 1-pot restaurant-style Indian dhal curry that's ready in just 25 minutes. With red lentils, coconut milk, and simple spices, it's a protein-packed, creamy, and delicious daal.
Get the stove top, instant pot and slow cooker recipes below for this popular and delicious daal recipe!
I love Lentil Dahl (also known as dal, dhal, daal). I'm sure once you try this dhal, you'll love it too.
It's creamy, rich, and mildly spiced with a gentle heat from the spices, chillis, and ginger.
And this is seriously the Best Red Lentil Dahl!
I know that's a big statement, but soooo many of you write to tell me that you love it and you make it over and over again.
At this very moment, there are freezers all over the world with a stash of it too! So many people make a double batch to freeze some for later.
This dhal is a tasty easy 1-pot Indian curry with lentils, coconut milk, and simple spices that's ready in just 25 minutes!
It's naturally vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free (but check your ingredients!)
Loads of you have been making this lentil dhal recipe! Here are some reader testimonials
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'Loved this daal and so did my husband and 18 month old son! I will be making this again and again and again. ' - Emily
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'This is one of the best dhal recipes I have come cross in recent years. It is so simple but so tasty.' - Michiko
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'The best Dal I've ever eaten was absolutely delicious' - Sean
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'Delicious dahl! Will be making over and over again!' - Betty
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'I just made this and all the comments are so justly deserved – it was my first time making Dal and this recipe is phenomenal! ' - Joanne
This dal post was originally posted 2016. Updated with new photos, step by step images and updated text on 27 August 2018.
Dhal is a great midweek meal or alternative homemade Indian curry.
It's also freezer-friendly and has less than 300 calories per portion.
As soon as my family mentions wanting a curry, I know exactly what I'll be having - dal. There are lots of types of dal, made with various pulses, but I love using red lentils - they're quick to cook. and you don't need to soak them!
I've tweaked and changed this restaurant-style dahl recipe over the years and I've finally settled on this combination as my absolute favourite.
It's comfort food at it's finest.
I always make a big batch and keep a stash of this vegan lentil curry in the freezer for super-quick midweek meals that the whole family loves.
I love to serve this red lentil curry with rice or my super easy naan bread recipe (just 4 ingredients and 15 minutes for homemade naan bread, plus it's yeast-free and easily vegan or gluten free).
It's also amazing with Bombay Potatoes.
Why you'll love this recipe
An authentic Indian curry.
1-pot simple dhal recipe.
Ready in 25 minutes.
Indian lentils are comforting and delicious.
Lentil dahl is naturally vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free.
It makes a great Indian feast along with naan bread (my easy naan takes just minutes and is soooo good!) turmeric rice, chapattis, roti or poppadoms, vegetable samosas, onion bhajis, or vegetable pakoras.
Protein-packed red lentils cook quickly so this dal is ready in under half an hour.
Add more chilli if you like the heat, or more coconut milk if you want it extra creamy.
What is Daal?
Dhal, also called dahl, dal, or daal, refers to either dried split lentils or dried split peas as an ingredient (that don't require soaking or pre-cooking) or as a spiced curry from the Indian subcontinent made with split peas or lentils cooked until softened and thick.
Dhal is a very popular staple dish served widely across India. As with most traditional meals, the exact methods and ingredients vary from region to region and household to household.
A lentil dahl doesn't always have tomatoes in it, but adding them means the acidity from the tomatoes cuts through the coconut milk so it has more depth of flavour rather than sweetness.
Do I use dried red lentils? Yes. No need to pre-cook them (just give them a rinse), they'll cook in the curry.
If you have more time, let the onions cook longer in the pan for a more fragrant dahl.
Do the red lentils need to be pre-soaked? No, just add them dry! Though you'll want to rinse them first.
If you don't have all the spices, just add 3 teaspoon of Garam Masala (an easy-to-find dried Indian spice blend that's in most grocery stores).
How to serve this Indian dhal? Serve it as a lentil curry with rice and/or naan bread, or as a side dish alongside another curry or Bombay aloo.
Try this served with my baked vegetable pakora or turmeric roasted cauliflower.
Try it with a few other curries for a party or gathering.
Finish with a Banana Lassi or Mango Shake.
Freezing and storage tips
Can I freeze dahl? Yes! Let it cool and freeze in portions in airtight containers or bags for up to 3 months. I love keeping a stash of portions in my freezer for quick curry nights.
How long does red lentil dahl last? Dhal will last in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.
Can I make this daal vegan? This daal is naturally vegan and gluten free.
This daal is dairy free, eggless and gluten-free.
Each portion of this has only 293 calories.
How many Weight Watchers points per portion of this daal recipe? 12 smart points.
I always keep a big jar of red lentils in my pantry. They're budget-friendly and add a protein hit to many dishes. Plus, you don't need to pre-cook or soak them! If you love this dahl, be sure to also try using up red lentils in these recipes too!
Red Lentil Carrot Hot Dogs (vegan)
Instant Pot Lentil Curry
I hope you'll love this red lentil dahl as much as we do, and make it part of your family meal plan! Be sure to check out some of my other vegan and vegetarian curry recipes too.
Kidney Bean Curry (Rajma Masala)
Paneer Butter Masala
Vegan Butter Chicken (cauliflower)
Instant Pot Lentil Curry
Roasted Carrot Curry
Step by Step Tutorial
Scroll down for the full dahl recipe.
This dahl is really easy to make. If you can spare a bit more time, then I'd suggest you slowly cook the onions for about 10 minutes until soft but not too brown. Then also simmer the dahl a little longer.
But if you don't have time then the dahl also great with the method below! (I usually make it the quicker way!)
1: Cook the onions in the oil until soft, then add the garlic and chilli (fresh finely diced chilli or dried chilli flakes).
2: Lightly grind the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle.
3: Add the ground spices, as well as garam masala and turmeric to the pan, stir and cook for 1 minute.
4: Add the stock/broth, canned tomatoes, dry red lentils and coconut milk, stir well and simmer.
5: Simmer until thick, about 15-20 minutes.
6: Add the spinach and lemon juice. Stir to wilt the spinach. Serve the dal recipe!
Scroll down to the recipe card for the full dhal recipe.
Make it a full meal with these vegan Indian recipes!
Lentil Dahl (the recipe you're reading!)
Turmeric Rice (vegan, 6 ingredients, 20 minutes)
Baked Vegetable Pakora (vegan, 6 ingredients, 25 minutes)
Naan (vegetarian or vegan, 4 ingredients, 15 minutes)
Dal refers to split lentils or other pulses. Dal can also refer to a curry dish made from split lentils or pulses.
This dahl is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free.
No, you don't need to soak or pre-cook red lentils for this dhal recipe. Just rinse them, then add when required.
Absolutely. Just cook the onions in a splash of oil, stirring often so they don't stick.
This dahl has 293 calories per generous, filling portion.
Dahl will last up to 5 days, covered, in the fridge.
Yes. Freeze completely cooled dhal in airtight bags or containers for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat before serving.
Yes. Just substitute heavy cream (or vegan cream).
This dahl recipe has 31g of carbs per portion.
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The Best Red Lentil Dahl
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 onions diced
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger peeled and grated
- ½ finely chopped red chilli (or ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala TIP: If you don't have all the whole spices, just use 3 teaspoons of Garam Masala instead.
- 1 cup (200g) dried red lentils, uncooked (rinsed and drained)
- 1 can (14oz/400ml) chopped tomatoes
- 1 can (14oz/400ml) coconut milk
- 2 cups (500ml) vegetable broth/stock
- Salt and pepper
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach washed
Stove Top Daal
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and red chilli and cook for a few minutes.
- Grind the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds lightly in a pestle and mortar, then add to the pan, along with the turmeric and garam masala and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the lentils, tomatoes with their juice, coconut milk and broth/stock, then stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and cook on a medium/low heat for 15-20 minutes until reduced and thick. If you have time, you can leave it a little longer on a very low heat for even more flavor (just stir often and check it doesn't scorch on the bottom of the pan).
Taste and add more chilli if desired.
- Stir in the lemon juice and spinach until it wilts.
- Serve warm with rice, naan bread or poppadoms.
Instant Pot Lentil Dhal
- Set the Instant Pot to 'saute' setting and heat the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes until it gets soft but not browned. Add the garlic, ginger and red chilli and cook for a minute, then turn off the Instant Pot.
- Grind the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds lightly in a pestle and mortar, then add to the pan, along with the turmeric and garam masala and cook, stirring, for 1 minute (there will be enough heat left in the Instant Pot to do this).
- Stir in the lentils, tomatoes, coconut milk and broth/stock. Put the lid on the Instant Pot, close the steam vent and set to Manual (Pressure Cook)/High Pressure pressure using the manual setting, then set the time to 8 minutes.
- After the time is up, wait for 10 minutes and then carefully use the quick release valve to release remaining pressure, or let the pressure release naturally. Stir in the lemon juice and the spinach until it wilts and serve!
Slow Cooker Daal
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and red chilli and cook for a few minutes.
- Grind the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds lightly in a pestle and mortar, then add to the frying pan, along with the turmeric and garam masala and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the onion mixture to the bowl of the slow cooker, along with the lentils, tomatoes, coconut milk and broth/stock. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours.Taste and cook longer if necessary for the lentils to be lovely and soft. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the lemon juice and spinach.
Turmeric Rice Baked Vegetable Pakora Naan Recipe Bombay Potatoes
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.
This is so delicious - thank you for sharing the recipe.
I followed the recipe exactly, I even had it simmering for 40 minutes, but the mixture had far too much liquid it in, In the end I had to drain the liquid, as it resembled soup. Next time I will use either more lentils or less vegetable stock. It tasted amazing, and will definitely make this again
I had the same issue. Too liquidy. Had to add cornstarch to thicken it
Recipe calls for 2 teaspoons tumeric. I used 1.5 teaspoons, it was too much. Recipe called for two onions. I used one onion and it was too much. Other than those adjustments, it was good. I would substitute tomato sauce for the diced tomatoes, just my preference.
Loved this recipe so much, thank you. I used two onions as stated but frozen spinach and half the coconut milk, and I also used freshly diced tomatoes. Very very tasty.
My absolute go-to meal - best Dahl recipe I've tried and I've tried a lot!
My whole family loves this dish, even my toddler and preschooler. I've made it quite a few times already as it's now one of our regulars. I love how easy and tasty it is.
Hi Kate, I love this recipe, It is delicious and so quick and easy to make. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Delicious...nothing more I can say!!
This is an excellent recipe, quick and easy! Thanks.
Alina B Suchanski
This recipe is an absolute winner. Meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans, all love it. Its very easy to make and if you are missing an ingredient of two it still tastes great. I made it today without mustard seeds and garam masala, as I didn't have these, but was still delicious. Used coriander instead of spinach, yummm!
Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe.
It’s end of week fridge clean out. I chopped a heap of vegetables to stop going into land fill and added to the Dahl. Made as per recipe but did add another half cup of lentils. I ended up with a chunky Dahl that I served with brown rice. Family loved it. There was enough for left overs for lunch next day. Tasted better the next day. Thanks for the recipe.
One of the most annoying recipe websites I have ever seen. Far too much superfluous rubbish before you get to read the actual recipe.
A shame as the recipe actually came out well.
Brilliant for lunch in the office. Simply reheat with whatever vegetables you have on hand. I am loving is with sweet baby zucchini this week.
This dahl is incredible! I make it in the slow cooker and leave it for 9 hrs, using three types of lentils.
Absolutely delicious, my food usually turns out so bland, I have managed to make a really tasty dish thanks to you. I could eat all of it in one go and I feel proud of myself! I agree with a previous comment, needs more lentils x
This dhal is so nourishing and rich and warm and spicy! I LOVE IT! Made it two times already. I add a bit more lentils (350g?) and it makes for 4 meals. This will be my go-to recipe for sure. Basmati rice is a perfect companion to this!
This was delicious! I use the 3 teaspoons of garam masala instead of all the spices.
Oh so good. The best ever. Thank you Also, I love the amount of detail you put into each recipe post. Very informative. And the pics of each step of the process are very confidence-inspiring. And . . . I've been looking at your other recipes. Have Easy Naan, Bombay potatoes, Chickpea curry next on my list to try.
I have now made this many times and my whole family love it, including the kids. It's so tasty and easy to make. Thank you.
Lovely recipe but found it a little bland. Even though I followed it to every last letter. Couldn't taste the coconut despite using both coconut oil and a tin of coconut milk. Will try it again but without the tomatoes see if that makes a huge difference.
Simple, tasty and easy to make. A real winner!
Absolutely delicious! I've made this a couple of times now, so easy and full of flavour. Thank you for sharing, it's my go to for Dahl ❤️
So easy and so so yummy!!! Even the carnivores of the house love this
I thought it was about time I left a comment as this has been a staple in our household for about 3 years now! It's absolutely AMAZING and everyone I've ever made it for begs me for the recipe and it's always the first answer to 'what do you want for tea tonight?!'
I've adapted the recipe throughout the years and often roast anything from sweet potato, butter nut squash, red, yellow and orange bell peppers in the over first before adding at the end of the cooking time. I also usually add a tin of chickpeas (or any beans I have in the cupboard) to bulk it up a bit and make it last longer! (It doesn't last longer...it's so delicious that we just end up eating more!) I also favour lime juice instead of lemon but it's all personal preference and such a great dish to use up what's in the cupboards and any veggies in the fridge/freezer. Thank you for such a yummy recipe!
What a lovely comment! I'm so pleased that your family likes this recipe so much!
This recipe is also my go-to Dal recipe and has been for years as well! I have tried a few others and I always come back to this one because it is sooo good and so simple. I have even converted a few people to eating lentils with this recipe!
⁷Careful not to add too much lemon. It was delicious until I squeezed in 3/4 juiced lemon.
Wooooow! So easy (I used ground spices) and SO bloody delicious and fragrant. omg. Everyone who had it adored it - even the meat eaters! I have sent this recipe to at least 5 people I was so excited about it. My only regret from my first attempt is that I didn't make more of it at that time, hah. Will be making this again soon! Thank you!
Hi, love it and make it all the time!
This is one of the best Dahls I have ever tasted. My husband and I cooked it last night it was amazing. Thank your sharing. I will definitely look at your site for other recipes
I have tried a couple of other dhal recipes from the internet which were disappointing. Not this one! Very good, really tasty. All the family were impressed. Thanks for the recipe.
Delicious! Makes us want to eat more vegetarian dishes, which is a serious compliment!
Delicious recipe! It is now a staple for me. Thanks for sharing!
This recipe is wonderful, I cook it at least once every couple of weeks for my partner and our toddler who both love it!
Hi Kate, if freezing, should I add the lemon juice when I make it, or add it once reheated before serving?
Hi Yolanda, either is fine. I often freeze leftovers that have the lemon juice already added and it works fine. You can always add a squeeze of lemon after reheating if you want, to taste.
Anyone have tips for using canned lentils here instead of dry? I have some I need to use up & love the recipe, but I'm worried about overcooking canned lentils.
Fantastic recipe! East to follow and very delicious! It has even converted my lentil hating partner!
This made me like lentils! I used brown or green lentils (I can’t tell the difference) because that’s what I had, and I’m so impressed. I also made the easy naan, and they’re both delicious. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us!
Had an excess of baby spinach. Came across your recipe and had a go at the slow cooker version. Added a little extra of all the spices and was really impressed with the result. So good 😋
Hi! Brown lentils are all I can get a hold of right now. Can I use them in this recipe, and if so, should I precook them? Thank you so much in advance.
Hi there! Looks delicious, I want to make this but only have the ground spices of the spice seeds needed. What should I do, will it work?
Hi, ground spices will work too!
So easy to make. It's soooo tummy like honestly 10/10 and if you don't have mustard or a lemon lying around it really doesn't matter the taste is deeeelicious. Happy days!!!
Made this yesterday, it is very very tasty and zero hassle to make. Thank you for sharing. I’m having it with basmati rice today but soaked up the last bit out of the pot with a slice of brown bread after I had portioned it out. It would be delicious with your easy naan bread that I’ve already made and would also recommend:)
Hi 👋🏼. I’m a bit concerned about using two onions because of GI problems with certain veggies. Will the recipe really suffer using one onion?
Hi, it will be fine with just one (or none)!
Made this today. And it's still cooking on a low setting in my slow cooker. But Im sure it will taste delicious, as the cooking aroma is heavenly!
Amazing recipe! I had never made daal before and this was absolutely delicious, we just couldn't stop eating. My husband isn't crazy about vegetarian meals, but this here may be one of his new favorites. I didn't have the seeds so I used ground spices instead with adjusted amounts and it worked perfectly well. Thank you for sharing this, I'll make it many more times, I'm very sure!!!!! 🙏🏾
This has become my go to dahl recipie, I cook it almoat every week! So easy, healthy and delicious. Thankyou!
Nick de Jonge
Amazing, my go-to quick win
I agree. The dahl is the best my family and I have had. Our new favourite! Thanks so much.
Simply delicious, thank you
This is the best I have had. A must try
I love this recipe!!! It is my go to Dahl all the time. My family love it and cant get enough.
Fabulous recipe ❣️
This is a fail safe recipe! Loved by the whole family - I come back to it again and again. Thank you for sharing it!
This really is the tasties Dahl recipe I've use! It's so flavour full and creamy- a great combination of flavours! It's definitely going to one of my staple meals for the foreseeable future! Ha. Thank you for sharing.
Cooked this tonight, Its so tasty and simple to make. Thank you!
I'm back to cook this dish again! It tasted incredible and was super easy to make. Perfect! I look forward to trying more recipes. Thank you ;0)
Really delicious recipe. I prefer a thicker dhall so simmered for a good 45 minutes. Also added chopped tomatoes with the spices. Best dhall I've tasted.
YUMMMMM!!!! I added more vegy broth so irks was more soup-like. Really good . Thanks!
This is my first time to leave a comment on a blog recipe. But I had to come and gush about my love for this daal recipe. I found it when I started the weaning process with my baby, because I was looking for new, creative ways to get more iron in her diet as well as exposure to spices and flavours. We started eating it when she was 7 months old, and since then I have made it at least once every 2 weeks. She is now nearly 2. We love this recipe! I've made it for large groups and for when we host people for dinner, and I am always asked if I can share the recipe. It's really delicious, and I appreciate it so much, author of Veggie Desserts! 🙂 Thank you!! (PS- I have also tried the homemade naan a few times, and it's always a hit and goes down a treat.) xx
I made this last night for my family and it was so amazing! One of the best dinners I’ve had!!
Just wondering what the serving size is for this? We are just watching calorie intake and wanted to make sure we aren’t serving too big and having more than the 293 cals
I literally just made this Dahl, your tumeric rice, vegetable pakoras and naan - all of it was absolutely gorgeous. My partner cleared his plate in seconds and was doing his happy eating dance! Thank you so much!
Superb and very tasty dahl
Simple and delicious. I haven’t made dahl with cocunut milk or tomato before but it really worked. I substituted curry powder for the suggested gara masala for curry powder. Also the canned tomatoes I used had some chilli added and that gave an extra kick. Added a dollop of yogurt for the kids’ version. Very easy to make.
This is the best most authentic tasting recipie. Super easy to make. I also add some raisins for sweetness. The key to making this a true winner is the lemon added at the end.
Mom In Port
SO. GOOD. This has become a regular dinner at our house and a dish I often crave!
If I don’t have fresh ginger, I sub dried and also use pre-ground mustard, cumin and coriander. Everything is always available in the pantry!
This recipe is easy to make with items that most of us have in our pantries. The balance of spices is perfect! The dal came together quickly and was a delicious and satisfying weeknight meal. Thank you, Kate!
I did the easy 3tsp of garam masala version. Really easy, unbelievably delicious. First time took longer to thcken -still delicious. Second time did 11/2 cups of lentils so was thicker. Can't believe how good this tastes. Wish I'd found it years ago. I'm probably going to live off this for a couple of weeks (or until it comes out of my ears). The naan bread is really easy too. Do try this. I can't recommend it highly enogh. Oh, and I am rubbish in the kitchen - just followed the instructions.
By far THE best Dhal recipe ever! I’ve shared it so much and everyone loves it. I personally have made it more than 20 times now and it has never let me down
Am I doing something wrong? Dried lentils don't cook in 15-20 minutes for me. They are still hard.
Hi, all the red lentils I ever use cook quickly. Brown or green lentils take longer. If your red lentils are still hard, just simmer the dhal for longer until they're lovely and soft.
I have never tried lentils before and had dismissed them. However I had been looking at ways in reducing my meat intake and this recipe ticked all the boxes. Easy, tasty meat free and you can freeze the leftovers!!! Never thought I would rave about a vegetarian dish, but I am hooked. Thank you.
I have shared this recipe with all my daughters, it has become a family favourite. Thank you!
Ummm. This was such a nice dish. The flavors were so perfectly balanced! This is now in my arsenal of "go to" recipes!
I didn't have mustard seed so I used mustard powder (less than the amount seeds called for). Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. It was perfection.
I did the fast version but let it simmer as we are and cleaned up dinner. Now all of those flavors have mingled and I can't help have a taste or two as I portion it off for fast freezer food.
PS. My 7, 6, and 2 year olds all gobbled it up too.
Love love love this recipe nothing changed at all!
Highly recommended this recipe. I add carrot, sweet potato and cauliflower while it is simmering and then at the end I added kale, spinach and peas. Fabulous
I love this easy to follow recipe! I find it quite healing and gentle on my gut and have been making it for my dad who suffers from diverticulitis. Thanks for sharing!!!
This is excellent!
What a great recipe! Easy, quick and so flavourful.
I made this dish last night the only thing I did differently was to add sweet potato, carrot and cauliflower while it was simmering and then at the end I added peas and kale. Fabulous!
Absolutely loved this dish!! My husband and I loved it. Will definitely make it again, maybe even tomorrow!!
Loved this recipe. Have been looking at more recipies without meat and I will certainly make this on a regular basis. I love Dhal and this is one of the nicest I have tasted even although I have tasted it in India and Sri Lanka. Just the correct amount of spiciness. Having to restrain myself from having another helping.
Delicious and so easy!
Love love love this recipe. I always make double the amount and freeze it.
This is one of the best dhal recipes I have made. A lovely combination of spices with the addition of spinach really works well. The whole family enjoyed will definitely be making again. Thank you
Simply the best - I have done it so many times and I just love it.
Excellent flavour and texture. So simple to make yet so tasteful. Next time i’d try adding some paneer.
We all loved it and it kept for a few days in the fridge and freezes well too. Fab!
Thank you so much! I love this recipe, it has become a staple and I love to serve it with jacket potatoes. Yummy.
This is delicious. It was even better the next day, spread on toast with an egg on top!
Delicious and super easy to make. I let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
So good! 💛
Delicious. Has become a family favourite
This was simple to make and tasted fantastic. I’ve added it to my regular go to meals list. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.
Best daal recipe I have ever tasted, reminded me of the stuff I had in India! Great work and thank you so much for sharing!!
Thanks so much, just made your Dahl and it went down a treat. Will definitely make it again.
Can you replace seeds with ground spices?
Hi, yes that would be fine!
Did it i the slow cooker and it's definitely 5*s!
Have found the perfect go to lentil dhal recipe! Friends and me enjoyed this last night for dinner, it was a huge hit! Followed the recipe as given and it turned out great!
Absolutely awesome flavour. This will be going in my campervan recipe book.
I've cooked this amazing Red Lentil Dhal recipie sooooo many times, to have on it's own with rice or home made nan bread or even organic tortillas. Or to compliment other curries for friends who come around. My son and daughter cook it regularly to, my son lives in Dubai and my daughter in Lisbon. When they cook it they whatsap me to say 'cooked your red lentil dahl tonight' which is a great compliment to your recipe.
Oh that is so lovely!! My sisters and I always whatsapp each other when we cook Irish potato farls and my mum's stuffing recipe. I"m so thrilled that your family does that for my dahl recipe. Thanks so much for coming to comment. K x
5 stars, tried this and it is superb, so tasty even though I left out the coconut milk. Have some left over so looking forward to it again with some fried paneer and roti. Will be adding to my recipes for future use. Many Thanks
WOW! It is very simple to make (specially with the Instant Pot) and so yummy!!
This is the best dal recipe I've ever used. It is delicious. I followed the recipe, which is pretty much a first, but added some methi leaves, just because I like them and I could. We're omnivores, so it was a side dish, but it would certainly work as a main course. I'm glad I made more than needed because I've a stash in the freezer now. My previous favourite, still up there, involves moong beans. I might try to adapt. Thank you, Kate.
So easy, flavourful and satisfying! I used a larger can of tomatoes and left out the stock and the result was creamy and yummy!
Comfort food indeed. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I have learnt that time is a vital ingredient. The slow cooked version is so delicious.
And while I have the time and this dish is lightly bubbling in the background as we speak, I thought I might comment on your question at the beginning of your article, dal or dhal or daal or what?
I would say it is spelled 'daal,' which simply is the Hindi word for lentil. They have their own writing system and there are indeed letters which are transcribed using an h, but this is not the case here. So d rather than dh. And it is long a (often transcribed as aa) rather than short a. So 'daal,' which beautifully reads दाल in their script. But I guess this is not the place to discuss linguistics 😉 and I won't blame anyone for writing it as they please.
Anyway, definitely a lovely dish and so easy to make. Thanks so much! Time for another stir, I guess...
This is simple, tasty and enjoyed by all my family, I have made this time and time again, brilliant!
I’d love it if there was a veggie ‘desserts’ regular cook book, so many great savoury recipes are on this site!!
Greatest Dhal recipe
Easy and wholesome
Tanya Wan Lim
Best Dahl recipe I’ve come across!!
This was such an excellent and delicious recipe. Will be making this again many times!
I used peas as didn’t have any spinach, it worked but will try with spinach next time!
I just can't stop making this! It's lovely! I add some freshly popped green peas, soya beans, broad beans, some carrot and bell pepper and corgette, along with some fresh Yogurt to serve. Thanks!
The best Dahl recipe we've ever tried! We have made many, over the years, but the spice combo in this one is perfect. My kids ask for it! I add in whatever vegetables we have laying around (today was courgettes, carrots, potatoes and peas) while sauteéing but after the onions, garlic ginger and spices. One minute with the hand blender after cooking for the desired consistency, and viola! Perfectly nourishing fast-food. Thanks so much!
This recipe for dahl looks good and tastes delicious. It’s interesting to prepare and cook and was enjoyed by all!
Hello and thank you! I just made this delicious dal which is not dull at all. I added a dollop of plain yogurt on the top of my dal to help with the spice - this is how we like our dals 🙂 Easy, healthy and immensely satisfying. Lovely recipe!
made it 2 or 3 times so far, and making it again today, lovely recipe to have with rice or a different curry. very easy to follow instructions , Thank you
My first dhal
Turned out scrumptious
OMG my Mum cooked this for me.... I'm 53... yes still spoilt I know but she was visiting and my daughter and I pretty much ate ¾'s of it by ourselves. Was so delicious and that lovely earthy (not the flavour), nourishing feeling when you ate it. Now a staple in my house... yes, I do cook it myself.
I love this recipe! I added a couple of grated carrots, along with the lentils, for extra goodness!
Super fragrant and easy to make for a mid-week dinner when you just need a dependable recipe that will yield more than 2 servings! All the ingredients were already in my kitchen, so this was perfect.
Amazing and super tasty easy Dal recipe.
So delicious and easy to make!
I’ve never had any success making Dhal before. This recipe is great the creaminess of the coconut with the nutty lentils is lovely. I cooked it slower, lower and longer than the method suggests just because it fitted in with what I was doing
Love dhal but any substitutes for the coconut milk - could you use yoghurt and would it freeze?
Hi Sharon. You could definitely use yogurt, but when freezing it might 'split'.
Really enjoyed this recipe will be making this often. great warmer for a winter night. Thanks
We are trying to eat less meat but find it hard to get good vegetarian receipts, tried the Red Lentil Dhal and will
Definitely be making it again, really lovely.
Just tried your recipe - everyone loved it and my 18 year old son even asked for the recipe!
First time ever making dhal and this was wonderful!
Simply delicious, no need to change anything
Amazing!! The tastiest home made curry, I will be making it again!!
I’ve made this loads of times and is definitely my favourite dhal recipe
Absolutely delish receipe...I decreased the onion and used serrano peppers since that is all I had and it was still really good. I will make this again soon. We served it with some homemade onion bahje's(sp).
I love this Dahl! And so does everyone in my family, from the meat-lovers, to the vegetarians and the kids! I go a little easy on the hot pepper flakes, and omit the coconut milk (not everyone is a fan). Based on other recipes I saw, I cook the lentils separately for 20 minutes, in stock and some of the tomato juice from the can. I start the onions in olive oil, but after adding all of the spices I add a tablespoon of coconut oil. It seems to give just enough coconut fragrance without overpowering the other flavours. I’ve also served with chunks of feta to rave reviews. Thank you for introducing us to Dahl, it’s a new-found favourite!
I’ve made this recipe so often I don’t need to look at it anymore! It’s a firm favourite of ours. I normally do a big bath and we have it for lunch during the week. I normally cook some chicken breast in and shred the meat when cooked. I also add my lemon once it off the heat and for an extra kick I also grate in the lemon rind!
Brilliant recipe. So tasty and very easy. Thank you for sharing it.
Very tasty Dahl, enjoyed by all the family. Very easy and enjoyable to make. Definitely a favourite meal to cook again and again.
I tried it as I happened to have all the ingredients and it was absolutely delicious. So easy to make and I will definitely be making it again. I have given the recipe to 2 others as it was so lovely. Thank you.
The most delicious dahl I have ever tasted. Everyone who has tried it raves about how tasty it is.
My wife is the chef of the house but it was mother’s day and I was tasked with making dinner. I made this Dahl and all 6 of us loved it. So easy and so delicious. Thanks for the recipe
Love it, brilliant can’t make it fast enough, grandchildren think I am a shop 5 srars
Truly deserving of all the accolades associated with this recipe. Undoubtedly the best and easiest recipe to pull together with guaranteed results! This one's a keeper!!!
My family of 7 can never agree on a meal... until I made this. Loved by all adults, youth, and even down to toddlers. I doubled the recipe,and just about had to scrape to pot. I was a bit thrown by a "can" of chopped tomatoes, could you add a more specific ml? Thank you from Ottawa, Canada.
You may have been confused since the page not only lays out the steps to make this informally as a rough description, but at the very bottom there is also a formal recipe which calls for 1 can (14oz/400ml) of chopped tomatoes. I was also confused about how much tomatoes as well until I saw that.
Trying this for the first time (but with frozen spinach) and it has turned out pretty well.
Thanks for the recipe.
New staple in my house. Just feel so nourished after eating it. Thank you
Amazing recipe, all the family love it. We have it with the home made naan which is easy and delicious
Fantastic recipe. Very forgiving. It has consistently come out well and I have trouble keeping up with supply and demand in my house! Can't recommend it highly enough.
love this recipe, my daughter has just turned vegan and its her favourite dinner
I have tried lots of Dahl recipes and this is one of the best, with very subtle tastes - even better if you reheat it after frozen as the spices get a chance to 'mature'.
Absolutely fantastic recipe! So so delicious ! I like making a bunch and having some dinner then take the leftovers to work the next day. Must try more of your recipes.thank you!!
My 2.5 year old and I adore this recipe. I double the spices, add veggies like sweet potatoes and cauliflower, and serve with rice. It’s so good (and easy to make)!!
Great recipe, I doubled the spices quantity to make it stronger but it’s absolutely great. Also made naan bread using your recipe. A winner!
I make this often. One of the best Dhal recipes I've found. Wonderful with heirloom tomatoes and poblano peppers.
Amazing and fool proof. It has so much flavour I want to eat the whole pan right now!
My first attempt at making Dahl was a success thanks to this wonderful recipe. And that coming from a meat eater!
I added a diced jalapeno for some extra heat but made it otherwise as written. This was such a delicious recipe and came together so easily, I will definitely be making it again (and again and again!).
i will usually make this weekly!! its so good.
I loved this so vibrant, rich and delicious. This is sure to become a comfort food favorite.
Delicious! Cooked for a friend who is a big Dahl fan and she loved it. Thanks!
Fantastic recipe, packed full of flavour and quick to make.
Had previously made the naan bread which turned out great so when looking for a dhal recipe and saw a recipe on the same site, thought would try it.
Served with the naan, family loved it.
Made this a coupla times, adding a tin of rinsed black beans. Really tasty and easily. Thanks.
This is seriously the best thing ever... made a batch and took it to work and 6 colleagues wanted the recipe and now make it regularly! Do you think I could make this in the slow cooker? I like to batch cook lots of different meals at the end of the month and don't have that much space on my hob?
Tastes amazing, can't get enough!
Absolutely love this!
How would you recommend cooking it in a slow cooker?
Do you think replacing the stock with more coconut milk would be good?
I think that might make it a little too creamy for my liking, but if you like it creamier then try it and let me know how it goes! 🙂
Holy moly, this is seriously the best dhal I've ever tasted! Had to leave out the chilli because of the child who can't tolerate it, but it was still amazing. Will be making again and again and again.
Can I skip mustard seeds and coriander seeds? I don't have these at home. And are these spicy? As I don't like spicy foods.
It's fine to skip those. They're not spicy, they just make the dahl more fragrant. But if you don't have them then just leave them out. I hope you enjoy it!
Such a simple recipe and tastes really good.
I have been living off this amazing recipe the whole winter and always have some frozen for a lentil emergency! I was determined to find a good recipe after I was ordering red dhal as my lunch at the office daily, and thinking with a little effort I could save some of that cash. This far exceeded my expectations and everyone said it beat the restaurant's. I was even more excited that I finally cooked some legumes that are well seasoned - Indian spicing always seems to evade me. Well done!
Made your Red Lentil Dahl and your Turmeric Roasted Cauliflwer at the weekend for a group of friends who came to lunch. What delicious recipes! The coconut in the Dahl added a soothing dimension to my curry and the cauliflower was a fabulous accompanying dish. I shall certainly be making these dishes again ... and again, etc.! Thank you!
Made this today and it was so delicious! Really tastes like authentic Dahl, something I never thought I could achieve at home. I ended up using an immersion blender at the end to make everything ever smoother and it was so delicious. Replaced spinach with cilantro as well. I’ll definitely be making this way more often!
Has anyone tried freezing this recipe? Just the Dahl, not the rice or naan. Thank you! I can't wait to make this.
Hi Erin, I freeze this all the time and it freezes really well! I often keep a stash of this lentil dahl in the freezer for quick emergency meals.
Loved this recipe and so did my husband and 18 month old son! I will be making this again and again and again. Thanks for sharing. I have a big batch in the freezer, do you defrost it, or reheat from frozen?
Hi, I'm so pleased you all liked it!
I only recently got a microwave, so now I defrost it in that. Previously I let it defrost in the fridge for the day and then heated it in a pan in the evening.
Thank you so much! This is going to be a staple as we move to a Whole Foods plant based way of eating. Thank you!
I just made this and all the comments are so justly deserved - it was my first time making Dahl and this recipe is phenomenal! I didn’t use a full can of coconut milk and I substituted 1TBL spoon tomato paste for the canned tomatoes (as I didn’t have any) and forgot the spinach and still amazing. Loved it. Glad I found your site!
Perfect, my hubby and I loved this dish. We made our own naan and it is perfect for at least two meals each.
Such a brilliant dhal recipe, every other I’ve tried have been bland but this was fantastic. Also super quick, cheap and easy to make. Great flavours but not spicy, even my 9 month old loved it! Will definitely be making a double batch next time.
I just wanted to thank you for your recipes, so easy to follow and no "fancy" ingredients ☺ I made the red lentil dahl and naan bread , loved both (I'm not vegetarian but with recipes like this I may be converted )
I've just made a triple batch of this - will feed us for the whole week 😀
I did a double batch of the baked pakoras to go with them, but I put onions and peas in this time.
Thanks for the recipes - they are definitely going to become regulars in our house. It's already the second time I've made them in a week.
This is by far the tastiest and best dhal I have ever had. Definitely our go to meal, totally delicious and so easy to make. Thank You!
Just made this for lunch. Put in a whole chilli by mistake! Absolutely delicious, gorgeous consistency. It’s going in my recipe book. Thank you!!!!!!
I'm so glad that you liked it!! Thanks for coming back to tell me 🙂
This recipe was the nicest vegetarian dish I’ve EVER tasted!!
Will definitely be making this again!!
I'm so pleased! Thanks so much for coming back to let me know that you loved the dahl!
DO you soak the Lentils beforehand to soften them? Thanks in advance?
Hi, no there's no need to pre-cook the red lentils. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
I mean there's no need to soak! 🙂
Made this yesterday - super simple and quick, tastes amazing and will be a regular addition to my weekly meals. Thank you.
best ever. i added a 1/2 tsp extra of garam masala seasoning and 1/4 tsp extra chili pepper flake (i like heat) and 1 tsp coconut sugar. recipe is perfect as is, these extras were just to satisfy my own tastebuds.
This is the best daal I’ve ever made.
Perfect blend of sweet, spicy and filling
Absolutely delicious! Very easy and full of flavor, I will be making this again, such a cheap and healthy dish.
The comments on this recipe sound a little too good to be true, it's just another dahl, right? Wrong. It's the best damn dahl you'll ever eat. The best. Trust me. After just one mouthful my partner turned to me and asked if we could add this into our regular rotation.
I even cheated a little using what I had on hand, substituting ground spices when whole seeds were called for. Still amazingly delicious.
Just made this for the first time, substituting the coconut milk for 150 ml olive oil and about 250ml soya milk (the other half is coconut AND gluten intolerant, which can be fun!) - the results are absolutely delicious!
This one is going in the book 🙂
I usually cook dhal "free flow". Today I followed your recipe to a T, and I must say, it is delicious, smells heavenly. I did not have any coconut milk but added shredded unsweetened coconut. Thank you!
I made this for first time yesterday and kept leftovers in fridge for this evening. So tasty! And even more so on second night. I'm really just learning to cook and was so happy to find it tasted better than any dahl I've had before. Thank you! I'll be exploring your other recipes now!
This dhal is divine! So easy to make & deliciously healthy!
Very nice - very good for batch cooking as a uni student. Only difference is I cook it for longer as I like it mushy!
I've just made it.... oh my God.... amazing!
What words do this justice? Delicious, phenomenal, simple and vegan 💚💚💚 I have just made this ( I only had one onion so added extra spices.) and it’s really really delicious, I don’t normally comment on recipes but this deserves one, thank you so much and I can’t wait to try out some of your other recipes.
This is far better than my favourite Dahl from our local Indian restaurant, and I love that 💚💚💚
Wow, thank you for such a lovely comment!
Can this be modified to do in a slowcooker?
The dahl tastes like the one I eat in indian restaurants, it's really good! Thanks!
I have never been happy with any dahl i have made until now .great recipe
This is absolutely delicious!
Such a tasteful dish and recipe! Made it for the first time in my life and it was very easy to follow your guidance! It was a bit liquidy but I think the lentils will absorb it. It will be my signature meal now! Oh yes so excited
I’ve cooked this twice in one week!! Served with a cheeky home made chutney and pappadums. New fav. <3
Delicious! Rave reviews from Hubby too! Will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the share!
I was wondering what the size can of coconut milk is?
It's a 400ml/14oz can. Typical household can size. I hope that helps!
Just tried the recipe for lentil daal have to say really good,made your naan breads this weekend my kids,well adults really didn't believe I made them so well done!🤗
Have made this a couple of times now and it’s very quick and easy and absolutely delicious. I ‘tweaked’ it slightly by roasting some cauliflower, carrots and butternut squash in the oven and added in once the dhal was cooked.
I served topped with a drizzle of oatly creme fraiche, toasted almonds and freshly chopped coriander. A roti and caramalized carrot chutney to accompany. Delicious.
This was amazing 🙂
Outstanding...absolutely delicious....tried many dhal recipes and nothing is a touch on this one. Thankyou.
Very easy. Very tasty
Absolutely delicious!! Perfect combination of spices.
I have enver heard of this. It sounds great that it can last for 4-5 days in the fridge, so you can make a large batch of it.
I haven't had a dhal in so long, yours looks so delicious! Definitely going to have to give your recipe a try!
Indian food is my favorite and this looks very tasty. I would love to try this
Such a delicious recipe, I love how quick it takes to make such a tasty dish! 🙂
Absolutely delicious! I put in a whole bag of fresh spinach and a handful of chopped coriander at the end, but other than that followed the recipe exactly, and will definitely make again - even my very fussy 4 year old loved it and wants it again tomorrow (but with the spinach picked out - she did not approve of my heavy handedness with the green stuff!) This recipe is a keeper!
I'm so glad you liked it! It's funny, but considering all the spices and flavours in this daal, lots of people say young kids love it!
This sounds like a great recipe. I really like dahl and should make it far more often.
I love dahl, this was delicious, easy, and totally tasty. thanks!
Lisa | Garlic & Zest
I just love all the spices for this dal -- I've never made dal before, but your recipe seems very accessible. Can't wait to give it a try.
I've never attempted making dahl before. Its really good and healthy.
This is one of my favourite autumn comfort foods and Avery loves it too. Such a good veggie protein dish.
I love recipes that are tried and true. Bonus that this is so healthy. I'll have to give it a try!
My husband loves curry and I can't wait to make this for him. I also love that it is simple and quick.
michelle twin mum
I often make lentil dahl but we tend to have it as a side dish along with a sweet potato and spinach curry. Gosh my mouht is watering now, this looks so good. Mich x
I love a dahl recipe and this one looks so easy to recreate and I bet it tastes amazing too!
Just made this tonight and it was amazing! Can't wait to make it again!
I've been in love with dahl ever since college and this 30 minute recipe is amazing! Thanks!
So delicious and easy to make!
I used half the coconut milk (lower fat version) and it still tasted amazing.
Thanks so much for this recipe. Bookmarking this page for the next time I’m craving some hearty lentils 🙂
Simply amazing and tasty. Thank You
Hi. How many grams in a serving?
You've probably already made this so info for anyone else.
Out of the full pan I made I got 6 portions weighing 215g each.
Best dahl recipe by far. Super easy, quick, and tasty. Can this be frozen?
Hi Janet. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed it! Yes, it can be frozen. I always make a huge batch and keep it on hand in my freezer for quick meals.
Wow! Just finished eating this and it was fantastic! Really delicious. I made it as written and I loved it. Will definitely look forward to having it a lot. Thanks!
Very Yummy I cooked this one for dinner. We normally used another reciper but i think I will switch to this one now. Many Thanks
This Dhal looks delicious, I can't wait to make it. Can you use light coconut milk instead of full fat?
Hi Emma, light should still work just fine. I hope you enjoy it!
i have made a number of dhals searching for that elusive something - and this just about hits the spot! i made a few adaptions - i added more spices particularly cumin,more chilli and curry leaves and less coconut milk - and i lov it !!!!!
INSANELY good. Just made a batch (again) to eat throughout the week for lunches. Yum!
This looks like such a great meal! I have to give it a try!
This is very similar to my dal so I know how good it tastes. We have it most weeks, just with some toasted wholemeal pitta bread. Such a comforting dish and my wee boy loves it.
I love dhal, such a great simple meal, loving the flavours you have got going on here!
Dahl is my top favorite dish in Indian cuisine and yours look absolutely delicious! I can smell it through the screen, perfect for dinner!
My first Dahl and I love it. Used my instant pot and it was done really quick. Will make frequently.
Super duper tasty!! Made a big batch for myself and left overs for 2 days. I served with mangetout (bit strange but had no rice) and some warm naan bread. Will definitely be making this dish again!
Hi, i want to try this recipe tonight! Looks delicious! Can I sub the coconut milk for rice or soy milk?? I don't have it on hand!
I've never tried this recipe with anything other than canned coconut milk. I like the flavour the coconut milk gives to the recipe and it's thicker than rice or soy milk. I'd be tempted to wait and get a can of coconut milk, but if you try it with rice or soy milk please let me know if it works 🙂
I have done similarly with soya milk and it does work well. I put a little coconut oil over the rice and fry the onions in it too. You get the flavour with few calories.
Made this for the first time tonight. So quick and easy and we all loved it! Brilliant recipe!
Mmmmm! Delicious, keeping this recipe as it’s a winner, thank you so much!
How much exactly is 1 can of tomatoes and coconut? I feel like this is probably obvious but I always see 2 or 3 different aides cans :/
Hi, the usual size of cans is 400g/15 oz. Hope that helps!
Just made this tonight! We all loved it. Had it with naan and rice.
This Dahl was really delicious and even better heated up the next day.
Delicious. Will make again (and again!)
Thanks for thhe recipe. I made it again last night and the whole family really like it. Made double to keep some in the freezer.
This was very tasty, thank you for the recipe. I had it with rice and fine green beans on the side.
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
Dhal is one of the things I dont make enough. I really should since I love it.
Thank you so much for this recipe. Delicious! I was so happy that I cooked for 4 and enjoyed it more than once 🙂
Btw, it also works in combination with baked potatoes....
After reading this recipe I immediately want to encoba, because it looks very tasty ...
Just finished making and eating this and it was SO yummy!! Looked just like your photos too which I thought was pretty impressive haha <3 This will be my new favourite go-to dahl recipe.
It's a 5/5 from me!
Do you soak your lentils before rinsing/draining them? as I know if not they absorb a lot of liquid...
please let me know! thank you 🙂 x
Hi Helena, no need to soak them first. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
Are you using cooked lentils?
Hi, no, just use uncooked. They'll cook in the dahl. Enjoy!
his is one of the best recipes I have come cross in recent years. It is so simple but so tasty.
The best Dahl I've ever eaten was absolutely delicious
This is totally up my street. Have bookmarked to make at my next curry night. Love your pot too. I have a Pumpkin Staub.
Cathy @ Planet Veggie
I haven't made dahl for ages! Actually, make that years. I remember the first time I made it I didn't think it would be all that as it's so simple but it was flipping gorgeous.
Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
Dal is one of my favourite quick dinners - so healthy, and cheap too! This one sounds absolutely delicious.
This sounds super yummy!
I may have to make some of this for when baby comes (due tomorrow)
Your dhal looks amazing and has reminded me to make dhal again which is one of hubby's favourite foods and he would love your addition of tomatoes here (another favourite)! Thanks for linking to my dish:-)