A Recipe to Keep – Masoor Dal

masoor dal

Pakistani food – mouth-watering & delicious! Here is the first of what I hope will be many recipes! If you make these, let me know how they turn out through the comments!

This recipe came to me by way of Carol Brown, Polly Brown & Sheila Williams (now adapted by me). For those unfamiliar – dal is the Pakistani word for lentils. Lentils come in all colors but my bias is the reddish-orange kind.

2 Cups dal (red/orange)

1 medium size onion (chopped)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

4 red peppers (whole) or 1 1/2 tsp ground red pepper or to taste

1 tsp fresh minced ginger root

½ tsp white cumin seed (zeera)

4 tomatoes (chopped)

2-3 tbsp olive oil

Heat oil until it sizzles. Add zeera & red pepper. Saute a bit then add garlic and onions. When they look glazed add minced ginger,  chopped tomatoes and a pinch of haldi (turmeric). Add washed dal. Put in twice the amount of water and cook 20 to 40  minutes with fire on low(I know that’s vague but I’m a sun-dial!) – check and see if you need to cook a bit longer. Texture should be soft. Add fresh washed coriander to taste. You can add vegetables and cook a few more minutes. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and fresh coriander and serve with raita & basmati rice or chapatis.  It’s a simple, economical and delicious dish.

Meanderings Through My Cookbook  – a great site for some good recipes had this picture to share of Masoor Dal – It is a perfect picture and does the dish justice. Take a look at her site for some inspiration!

14 thoughts on “A Recipe to Keep – Masoor Dal

  1. Marilyn you make me so hungry and also long for my own kitchen where I could immediately try out this recipe. I am travelling in Europe now and have problems with food as many of the small places do not have halal meat. Oh for some dal and chappatis right about now


    1. I have no excuse! I should be making dal and chappatis right now as I am in my kitchen. Later on this week. Would love to hear what you think of the recipe and what variations you would use if you do try. Enjoy Europe despite missing the best food in the world!


  2. Hi Marilyn, if you’re looking for a good cook book on Indian cooking, try The Varied Kitchens of India, by Copeland Marks. It has chapters on subcultures, like the Anglo-Indians of Calcutta, Kashmiri’s etc.


    1. This sounds great Annelies and yes, I’m always looking for a good Indian cookbook. This looks like a great one. Thanks for the recommendation.


  3. Dal chaval is one of my favourites! It was interesting, when we went to Fiji, I found out that they make dal much more watery, more like a soup there, less of a curry an they use the spices slightly differently. I also found a recipe online which said to fry off cumin seeds and garlic separately in oil and pour them over the top of the dal right before serving, quite tasty!
    We always added a squeeze of lemon to dal chaval at home before eating and fwarrrr.. delicious! Looking forward to more recipes!


    1. Frying the cumin and garlic separately sounds so delicious! I will try it – thanks for the great idea. I’ve used the lemon in soup and love so should try. If you have a good recipe, send it on! i’d love to feature.


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