Mamta's Kitchen

Masoor Dal-Dhuli-Red Lentil s

Masoor Dal-Dhuli

Reeta Kumar

There are many different lentils eaten in India. This particular dal is often used in lentil soups and is easily available in Western stores. It does not require a pressure cooker as it cooks very quickly without it. Serves 4


  • 1 cup masoor dal Dhuli (washed)

  • 3 cups water

  • Salt to taste (1-1 1/2 tsp.)

  • 1/2tsp. turmeric powder

  • For basic tarka (for other types of tarka, see notes below):

  • 2-3 tbsp. ghee or sunflower or olive oil. Ghee tastes better but oil is healthier.

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds

  • A large pinch of asafoetida or hing/heeng powder

  • 2-3 whole red chillies broken up

  • 1/2 tsp. chilli powder


  1. Wash dal well.

  2. Drain the water off before cooking.

  3. Boil measured amount of water.

  4. Add dal, turmeric and salt, bring to boil and simmer briskly until soft. This will take around 10 minutes. If it begins to look thick, add a little more hot water.

  5. Basic tarka or tempering:

  6. Heat ghee or oil in a tarka ladle (can be bought from an Indian store) or a small pan. Ghee tastes better but oil is healthier.

  7. Add cumin and asafoetida powder and let the seeds start to splutter.

  8. Add whole chillies and chillies powder, stir with a small spoon, you will see smoke rising.

  9. Add quickly, because chillies burn very fast, to the cooked dal through the half open lid (to stop the dal splashing all over the cooker), dipping in the addle into the dal. Remove ladle and cover with the lid. This will infuse the smoky flavours into the dal.

  10. Serve hot with chapatti or rice.

  11. Other variations of tarkas or tempering:

  12. After spluttering the cumin/mustard seeds, add a little grated ginger and/or garlic to the hot oil, fry until beginning to turn golden brown. Add chillies and chilli powder. Now add to the dal.

  13. After spluttering the cumin/mustard seeds, add one chopped onion, 1 tsp. each of grated ginger and garlic, and fry until browned. Add 2 chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp. curry powder or Sambhar Powder. Fry a little longer and add to dal.

  14. Serve hot with Chapatti and Boiled Rice.

  15. Also see Dal Selection.


  • You can add chopped coriander leaves to all dals as a garnish.

  • Overcooked or leftover dal can be added to roti or chapatti flour when making a dough. This makes delicious roties and parathas.

  • The amount of dal required per person depends on whether you are serving the dal with roti or with rice. Rice requires more dal.

  • Healthy option:

  • Use only 1-2 tsp. of olive oil for tempering.

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