Priya's Dal


Dal, an Indian dish, can be confusing because it is both an ingredient (dried legumes, such as lentils) and a recipe (a dish of spiced legumes). Here, it's a full satisfying dish.

Priya's Dal
Photo: Blaine Moats
Hands On Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
4 cups


  • 1 cup whole masoor dal (also known as whole red lentils or brown lentils)

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 2 tablespoon ghee* or olive oil

  • 2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 2 dried red chiles (such as Thai)

  • pinch red chile powder (such as cayenne)

  • pinch asafetida (optional)


  1. Put lentils in a bowl; add water to cover. Soak at room temperature 1 hour; drain.

  2. In a large pot combine lentils, bay leaf, turmeric, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and 4 cups water. Bring to boiling over high; reduce heat to medium-high, give lentils a stir, and insert a large long-handled spoon into the pot (to break the surface tension and prevent boiling over). Cook with spoon inserted until lentils are soft but still retain their shape and mixture resembles a thick soup, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat; let sit 15 minutes. Add lime juice. Set aside.

  3. For seasoning, in a small pan or butter warmer over medium-high, warm ghee or oil. Once ghee melts or oil begins to shimmer, add cumin seeds and cook until they start to sputter and brown, which should take seconds. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in dried chiles, red chile powder, and, if desired, asafetida. Add to cooked dal and mix thoroughly. Serves 4.


Ghee is clarified butter. Find it at health food stores or larger grocers, or make your own by melting butter and skimming off the milky solids.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

181 Calories
8g Fat
22g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 181
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 282mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 2.4mg 12%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 39mg 1%
Folate, total 1mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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