vegetarian dahl

Vegetarian dahl


Vegetarian dahl is a classic Indian dish consisting of spiced lentils simmered to a creamy consistency, often flavored with aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric. It’s a hearty and nutritious stew enjoyed for its rich, comforting flavors and served with rice or bread.

What is dahl made of?

Dahl, also known as dal or daal, is typically made from lentils, which are simmered with water and a variety of spices to create a flavorful and nutritious stew. Other ingredients like onions, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes are often added to enhance its taste and texture.

What should you eat dahl with?

Dahl is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of accompaniments. Traditionally, it is often served with rice or Indian bread like naan or roti. Additionally, you can pair it with vegetables, yogurt, or pickles for a balanced and satisfying meal. It’s also delicious on its own as a soup or stew.

Is vegetarian dahl healthy food?

Yes, dahl is generally considered a healthy meal. It is rich in plant-based protein, high in fiber, and low in fat. It’s also packed with essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a nutritious and balanced choice, especially when served with whole grains like rice or whole wheat bread.

Are there different types of dahl?

Yes, there are many different types of dahl (also spelled dal or daal), each with its unique ingredients and flavors. Some of the most common types of dahl include:

  • Masoor Dahl: Made from red or orange lentils, it cooks relatively quickly and has a sweet and nutty flavor.
  • Toor Dahl: Also known as pigeon pea lentils, it has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and is often used in South Indian cooking.
  • Chana Dahl: These are split and hulled chickpeas, which have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a firmer texture than other dals.

These are just a few examples, and there are countless regional and personal variations of dahl throughout the Indian subcontinent. The choice of lentils and the combination of spices and ingredients can vary widely, resulting in a diverse array of dahl dishes.

vegetarian dahl

Vegetarian dahl

Dal refers to both the ingredient (lentils, peas, or beans) and the dish itself, which is a staple across Indian subcontinent cuisines.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian, Indian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 222 kcal


  • 160 grams ¾ cup red lentils (masoor dal), rinsed and drained
  • 1 liter 4 cups water or vegetable broth, for cooking lentils
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee use oil to keep it vegan
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped (approximately 120 grams)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger grated (about 15 grams)
  • 1 medium tomato chopped (approximately 120 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • Juice of half a lemon optional, for added tang
  • 800 ml to 1 liter water additional, as needed for cooking

Optional Ingredients for Tempering (Tadka)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee use oil to keep it vegan
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1-2 dry red chilies
  • A pinch of asafoetida hing – skip if gluten intolerant
  • Curry leaves a few, optional


  • Combine the rinsed lentils and 1 liter of water or vegetable broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Add more water if necessary to keep the lentils just submerged.
  • While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a separate pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds. Add the onions and sauté until they start to brown. Mix in the garlic and ginger, cooking for another minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften.
  • To the sautéed mixture, add the turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala, and chili powder. Stir well and cook for a couple of minutes. Add this mixture to the cooked lentils, season with salt, and simmer everything together for 10-15 minutes. Add water as needed to achieve your desired consistency.
  • In a small pan, heat the additional oil or ghee. Add the mustard seeds, dry red chilies, asafoetida, and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds start to pop and the leaves crisp up, pour this tempering over the dal.
  • Stir the dal well. You can add lemon juice for a tangy flavor. Garnish with fresh coriander before serving.
Keyword Asian food, Indian food


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