Red Lentil Dal

Dal over RiceRecently I was on a cruise where a type of dal was on the buffet every lunch and dinner. Since I don’t eat much animal protein (at all) I ended up eating dal at least once a day, if not twice. I enjoyed it, and when I returned home I decided to try cooking some for myself. The recipe that follows is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it too!



Red Lentil Dal

This is a simple recipe to make that takes less than 45 minutes from start to finish if the lentils have soaked for awhile prior to cooking.
Course Legumes, Main Course
Appliances Stove
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4 cups


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • dash black pepper
  • 1/2 tomato diced
  • 3/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • cilantro leaves chopped
  • cooked rice


  1. Sort through the lentils, discarding any debris or bad lentils. Rinse the lentils and if time allows, cover with ample water and allow to soak for an hour or so.
  2. Drain the lentils and add to a pot along with the 2 cups of water. If you didn't soak the lentils, your cooking time will be longer and you will need more water.
  3. If you don't have any rice already cooked, this would be a good time to start cooking some rice to serve with the dal.
  4. Add all the other ingredients to the pot except the salt, tomato, cilantro and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer partly covered for 30 to 45 minutes or until the lentils are just about tender. As the lentils begin to cook, they will foam quite a bit. I tend to take a spoon and scoop off some of the foam.
  5. When the lentils are almost done, add the tomato and salt. Continue cooking for a few minutes until the tomato has softened. Stir in a heaping spoonful of love.
  6. Serve the dal over the cooked rice. Sprinkle with the cilantro leaves.
  7. Enjoy!! I really like this dish and am so glad I got introduced to it on our cruise!

Recipe Notes

If tomatoes are problematic for you just leave them out! I've made the recipe both ways and it's good either way. There were tomatoes in the dal on the cruise ship so I included them in this recipe. I use a vegetable peeler to peel the ginger and a small grater to finely grate it.

2 thoughts on “Red Lentil Dal

  1. Great recipe, Tina! I whipped it up last night; it was quick and easy (I used the pressure cooker and had to use powdered ginger). I did soak the lentils all day, though, but red ones cook quickly anyway.

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