Daal Masoor / Red Lentils

I had something completely different and interesting planned for you today, but my computer crashed last week. Even though it got fixed on Sunday I had trouble making time to write a post. So, I updated an old post from January 2012. The pictures are new but the recipe and the text remain the same. 



It is rare that an Indian home will serve a meal without accompanying a lentil dish, referred to as daal. It is a ready source of protein for a balanced diet. I love red lentils a lot as they cook up quickly when you need something hearty in hurry. Contrary to its name red lentils are actually salmon colored and turns yellow after cooking. They come in two varieties- whole and split. Unlike their brown and green lentil cousins they are smaller and falls apart as they cook. Since they are high in lean protein, fiber, folate, iron and low in fat, Dr. Oz listed red lentils as a super food on his TV show last month.



Being a huge Dr. Oz fan I give importance to his words of advice. In fact, I changed my eating habits after watching him first on Oprah Show. He is such an inspiration to his viewers and listeners for his approach to life and medicine. His website is also an excellent resource for the latest information on nutrition and health. Although, we eat many of the foods that he talks about, but do not know how to get the most benefits out of them. Few years ago, terms like trans fats and foods with higher glycemic index were all alien to me, slowly after watching his show I became familiar. He educates common public about their health in a friendly and easy way.



Let’s get back to today’s recipe. Simple, nutritious and delicious, red lentil is one of the easiest daal to cook. If you are a new to cooking lentils and legumes, I’d urge you to start with this lentil. One of the things I love about this daal is that it tastes unbelievably comforting with just a few basic spices. It can be eaten alone as a hot soup, or piled on rice, with some salad and vegetable dish on the side to make it a complete meal.  My mom always served with desi ghee ( clarified butter) on top that deepened the flavor of already delicious masoor daal.


Daal Masoor /  Red Lentils

Ingredients for boiling lentils:

3/4 cup malka masoor /red lentils

3 1/2 cups water

1 bay leaf (tear into two pieces)

Ingredients for tempering:

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

ginger (about the size of one garlic clove), minced

1 large tomato, chopped

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp. chopped cilantro

1/2 lemon


Get your ingredients ready for tempering before you start cooking.

Rinse red lentils and place in a medium sauce pan. Add 3 cups of water. Bring it to boil.

Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until lentils are soft. Skim off any scum that comes on top.

Make sure you do not overcook the lentils. They get mushy in seconds.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a small pan. Add cumin when the oil gets hot. After the crackling of cumin, add chopped onion. Cook until translucent.

Add minced ginger and garlic. Cook while stirring, making sure that it does not burn.

Add turmeric, red chili powder, salt and tomatoes.

Cook this masala with little water and pressing the tomatoes with the back of the ladle. (Daal would be cooked by now) Remove bay leaves from the cooked daal.

Add onion tomato masala into daal.

Gently stir it. If the consistency of the lentil looks too thick then bring remaining 1/2 cup of water to a boil in the pan which was used for tempering.

Add it to the lentils. Check for seasoning.

Transfer red lentils in a serving bowl. Serve garnish with chopped cilantro and squeeze of lemon.


The above recipe give a satisfying hot flavor red lentil soup. If you are preparing to eat with rice or roti, you definitely need to spice up with 1 tsp garam masala and some chopped green chillies or you can serve with pickle on side.

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  • comment-avatar
    Maika January 19, 2012 (5:27 pm)

    This looks really good, thanks for the information on the lentils…

  • comment-avatar
    Kiri W. January 19, 2012 (6:25 pm)

    I adore red lentils, and your dish looks wonderful! I’m bookmarking this one, since I have a beautiful bag of red lentils waiting to be used. 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Anne Regalado January 19, 2012 (6:38 pm)

    It’s simple & easy to make yet full of flavor and healthy to boot ! Love all the spices you put in that dish 😉 Yummy !!!

  • comment-avatar
    Ann January 19, 2012 (8:25 pm)

    This looks delicious! I have to say, I’ve not tried red lentils, but I’ve not had any kind of lentil that I didn’t like! While I don’t watch Dr. Oz, I understand he has quite a bit of good information!

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    Nava.K January 19, 2012 (11:39 pm)

    Like you I too start my day with especially coffee but do drink a glass of plain water before that. I have to agree with you that this dhal cooks in a jiffy and works good for a quick meal. I like that the dhal is served with rice because you know we are high up there with eating rice at least once a day especially for lunch. Thats a delicious thick version of can be considered curry or side dish. I have been cracking my head on what to do with the this dhal sitting in my fridge for some time and yes, perfect try to go with your recipe.

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    Nami | Just One Cookbook January 20, 2012 (12:25 am)

    I’d love to eat this with warm chapati. I’ll remember about red lentils!

  • comment-avatar
    sameena January 20, 2012 (2:08 am)

    Simple and yummy..healthy too…:)



  • comment-avatar
    Tina January 20, 2012 (4:23 am)

    The tomato masala must give these lentils such a wonderful flavor-yum! Red lentils should be a part of everyone’s diet, so I am glad to come across a recipe that includes them. Healthy and delicious post! Have a great weekend, my friend!

  • comment-avatar
    Simply Life January 20, 2012 (4:23 am)

    what a tasty AND delicious meal!

  • comment-avatar
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com January 20, 2012 (4:15 pm)

    Lentils are my favorite! We have it at least once a week. Perfect during winter 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Jay January 21, 2012 (3:33 am)

    great recipe with tempting presentation
    some awards are waiting for you at my space..;)
    Tasty Appetite

  • comment-avatar
    Richa January 21, 2012 (2:32 pm)

    we underestimate our nutritious indian food.. each of the lentils and beans are rich in so many minerals and protein! the daal looks great.

  • comment-avatar
    Sudha January 21, 2012 (3:47 pm)

    This is a very tasty and healthy recipe for Masoor Dal – I enjoy having lentils and ensure that it is included in my family’s daily diet.I even have an event on Lentils at my place – its called ‘Love for Lentils’. Do drop in sometime at my place and checkout the details – would be great to have this beautiful recipe at my event:)

  • comment-avatar
    motherrimmy January 21, 2012 (3:59 pm)

    I don’t have red lentils available, but I think this would work with my green lentils, wouldn’t it?

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder Ubi January 21, 2012 (5:41 pm)

      Sure it would, takes little longer time to cook. I cook green lentil with carrot and celery.

  • comment-avatar
    Jen at The Three Little Piglets January 21, 2012 (10:16 pm)

    Like brussel sprouts, I think most people who don’t like lentils just never had them prepared well or with the right flavors added. This sounds like it has just the right amount of spice to make the lentils really pop.

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    Ambreen January 21, 2012 (11:59 pm)

    Ooh, this looks so good! We make it the same way, sometimes with the meat. Thanks for visiting and for your nice words 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    simply.food January 22, 2012 (12:26 am)

    Dhal looks creamy and delicious and protein packed. My 1st visit here, you have a nice collection of recipes. Do drop by simply.food some time.
    Following your blog.

  • comment-avatar
    Anupama January 27, 2015 (2:19 am)

    You are so very right Balvinder. Although we eat many of these super foods on a day to day basis, we don’t always know how to get the most out of them. Dals are a must at home every single day, as you know. Delicious welcoming dal – so nicely explained. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    tarnjit March 13, 2018 (5:34 am)

    It looks so appetizing! I love ghee on top just like your mum. I’ll have to try it with a squeeze of lemon. Yum!!

  • comment-avatar
    Vicki Bensinger March 13, 2018 (6:07 am)

    It wasn’t until about 3 years ago that I actually had a massive sampling of lentils – that was at an IACP convention. It was there that I fell in love with them. Your soup looks beautiful and is full of so many healthy ingredients. I will definitely try this. I’m glad you reposted it. Hope you are doing well!

  • comment-avatar
    Emma - Bake Then Eat March 13, 2018 (6:30 am)

    This may be an old post but this daal still looks amazing. I shall keep my fingers crossed that your PC gets fixed soon.

  • comment-avatar
    Angie@Angie's Recipes March 13, 2018 (6:59 am)

    I adore lentils! This daal recipe seems easy to prepare and very delicious too.

  • comment-avatar
    Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder March 14, 2018 (1:48 am)

    I can never get tired of lentils and daal is one of my favourite dishes. Quick and easy and so comforting too! Lovely recipe!

  • comment-avatar
    Abbe@This is How I Cook March 15, 2018 (4:25 pm)

    This sounds awesome! I love daal and now I have your recipe!

  • comment-avatar
    Healthy World Cuisine March 15, 2018 (7:23 pm)

    Love red lentils as they cook fast. Adding tomato and your spices make it perfectly balanced and a very cozy meal.

  • comment-avatar
    Blackswan March 15, 2018 (11:27 pm)

    Gotta admit I haven’t tried red lentils. Looks like another healthy dish from you, dear! xoxo

  • comment-avatar
    jacqui bellefontaine March 17, 2018 (10:12 am)

    i think we all so through a stage of wanting to reshoot our pics I know I am starting to do some of my earlier recipes. This Daal looks delicious. #CookBlogShare

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    Corina Blum March 18, 2018 (12:28 am)

    I love red lentils! They’re so versatile and great in soups and daals like this. I’m also updating some of my old pictures – It’s hard work but worth it! You’ve made the daal look so tempting in these ones.

  • comment-avatar
    Lesley Garden March 20, 2018 (9:56 am)

    This looks delicious, I love Daal, probably one of my favourite things to eat.

  • comment-avatar
    Lathiya March 20, 2018 (11:34 am)

    This is an comfort food at any given time..looks delicious

  • comment-avatar
    Lisa Watson April 11, 2018 (10:16 pm)

    I made this last night and my family loved it! Thanks for the recipe!

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder April 12, 2018 (3:42 pm)

      So glad to hear it! thank you so much for the feedback