Red Lentil Dal

I tried making Red Lentil Dal for the first time at the end of May. I posted about it on my Instagram (linked in the sidebar).

I’ve always really enjoyed dal. There is this small local business close to the university campus that I used to love to go to with my Mom that made the best dal. It was so warm, healthy, and nourishing. You could also get it to-go and they would give you this huge portion that was really more like two meals, and I would bring it back to my dorm-room and eat it for two days.

It is one of those restaurant dishes that you can just feel good about eating because it really fuels your body. But, I had never learned to make it. So, I figured there was no time like the present and decided I wanted to try to make it at-home.

I looked up a few different recipes and put this one together from what I found. I have made it a couple times in the last few months and slightly changed it to come to this recipe.

It is a great one for a busy weeknight as it is pretty quick (30 minutes). It has that classic warm, earthy, spiced flavour of dal (without being spicy). (Feeds approximately 5)

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Onion diced
1/2 Bell pepper diced (red preferably although I have also used yellow)
2 Cloves of garlic diced
1 tsp Fresh ginger (crushed or diced)
1 Carrot diced
3 1/2 cups of Vegetable stock
Salt & pepper
1 tablespoon of Brown sugar
3 tablespoons of Heavy cream
1 cup of Red dried lentils (do not pre-soak them)
1 tsp of Paprika
1/4 tsp of Cinnamon
1 tablespoon of Curry powder
1/2 tsp of Red pepper flakes
Steamed rice (side) (4 servings)
Olive oil

  1. In the bottom of a medium pot sauté the onion, carrot, and bell pepper in some olive oil.
  2. Once softened add-in the ginger, garlic, salt & pepper. Allow to combine for a few minutes.
  3. Add in the spices: curry powder, paprika, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Rinse the lentils in a strainer (do not soak) and add them into the pot along with the 3 1/2 cups of vegetable stock. (I have been using 2 veggie bouillon cubes and adding 3 1/2 cups of water as vegetable stock has been hard to come by during the pandemic and it works just as well)
  5. Bring to a boil, stir, and then let simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Once the lentils have cooked for about 20 mins add in the brown sugar as well as the 3 tablespoons of heavy cream (this can be replaced with coconut milk or another vegan alternative if you like).
  7. Allow to combine and thicken for 5-10 more minutes, stirring frequently.

There you have it! Your easy Red Lentil Dal! It is delicious served over some fresh steamed rice.

It is such a cozy meal with lots of protein and nutrients. It is also very affordable to make and freezes really well. I am looking forward to trying out new variations of dal now that I have made at least one and will be sure to share them as I do.

I hope you enjoy this easy red lentil dal recipe! Let me know if you try it out and what you think!

Write soon,

Hannah B.L.

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