Easy Red Lentil Dhal

lentil dahl with naan bread


Easy Home Cooking Contest Recipe Winner 2018 – Grand Prize Winner and People's Choice Award!

Every Indian family has their own unique spin on dhal. For Whitney of New Westminster, BC, making this dish reminds her of her mom’s cooking. A pot can be cooked up and enjoyed over a few days during the week. This flavourful version adds toasted spices that enhance each bowl served up with rice or naan.                                       

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4-6


Red lentils

1 cup (250 mL) 

Canola oil

1 tbsp (15 mL)

Small onion, finely chopped


Garlic cloves, minced


Ground turmeric 1/2 tsp (2 ml)

1/2 tsp (2 ml)

Tomatoes, chopped



3 cups (750 mL)

Thai chili, cut in half

1 small

Spice Mix


Canola oil 1 tsp (5 mL)
Fresh ginger, minced 2 tsp (10 mL)
Cumin seeds 1 tsp (5 mL)
Black mustard seeds 1 tsp (5 mL)
Fresh cilantro, chopped 2 tbsp (30 mL)


  1. Rinse lentils in fine mesh sieve with water; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, turmeric and salt about 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. 
  3. Stir in lentils, water and chili; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook for about 25 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  4. Spice Mix: Meanwhile, heat oil, ginger, cumin and mustard over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes or until seeds start to pop. Remove from heat. 
  5. Uncover soup and stir in spice mixture. Let cook, uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Nutrition information per serving: 

Calories: 201 kcal

Protein: 11 g

Fat: 5 g

Carbohydrate: 30 g

Fibre: 6 g

Sodium: 202 mg

Calcium: 50 mg

Iron: 4 mg

Last Update – February 24, 2023

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