The Masoor Dal Recipe is a red lentil recipe a popular and flavorful Goan dal curry from the tropical paradise in India.
This easy dal recipe is a one-pot dish, flavorful, satisfying and healthy at the same time. You can prepare the vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, lightly spiced Indian lentil dal curry within 20 minutes.
Read further below how to make this masoor dal recipe easily!
What is masoor dal?
Masoor Dal (or dahl) is a lentil variety.
- brown whole masoor dal lentils
- red (or orange) split masoor dal lentils
The brown full masoor lentils are peeled and split. The result are the red masoor lentils.
Why is this Masoor Dal Recipe different?
This Masoor dal recipe is different from others for a few reasons:
- The red lentils Recipe is my mother in laws recipe, she is Goan and her father was a chef in an international hotel in Mombassa Kenya before the civil unrests started back in the 60s.
- Lentil dal is a very healthy, low sodium plant-based dish which is very flavorful and only lightly spiced as well. It’s suitable for most people.
- The Indian lentil curry Recipe is quickly prepared and easy at the same time because the red lentils are quickly soft during the cooking process. So this Masoor dal recipe will be ready in less than 20 mins and then too from scratch with fresh ingredients!
Because the Masoor Dal is a Goan dal it is different to other Indian dals. India is known for its various lentil dishes, called Dal, and Goa is not an exception, however, Goa is a former Portuguese colony.
You can taste the cultural influence in this Goan dahl recipe. It can’t be compared to a regular dal tadka or other Indian dal recipes.
Besides the Goan masoor dal recipe is a satisfying vegan, gluten-free and nut-free Indian red lentil curry recipe.
The curry is lightly spiced so it’s suited for all kinds of taste preferences.
How to make and cook masoor dal?
Masoor dal is the easiest lentil variety to cook. Why?
Because these masoor red lentils are split so that means they will cook faster. Also, you will be able to digest them easily since the fiber content is less in the red lentils compared to other lentil varieties.
So, what you need to do to accelerate your cooking, even more, is to keep the indian lentil dal to soak for 30 minutes in water before cooking the lentils. This will soften the red lentils and they will cook way faster!
On average if kept to soak, masoor dal takes about 10-15 minutes cooking time only to get soft. That’s quite amazing, don’t you think?
That means we will be able to enjoy red lentil recipes all the more in the future!
Even if you don’t keep the lentils to soak, the red split lentils will cook faster than most other lentil varieties.
So if you forgot to keep your lentils to soak and you are tight on time, then just cook the dry lentils as described in the recipe further below and adjust the amount of water used by adding more if needed.
Tip: When cooking any lentil or bean dish, add the black pepper to season at the end of the cooking process when the lentils are soft. Lentils tend to take longer to soften while cooking when black pepper is added to the pot before the beans/lentils are soft.
What do you call Masoor Dal in English?
Masoor Dal in English is also known as Split Red (or also called orange) Lentil. Otherwise, Masoor Dal is the common name for these split lentils.
Is Masoor dal good for babies?
Yes! Masoor dal split (red/orange lentils) are easily digested and these lentils contain less fiber than other lentil varieties which makes them easier to digest. Perfect for small babies of +9 months of age. Reduce the spices and omit the chili and puree the red lentils for baby consumption.
Indian babies are given spicy food too, so you can try feeding your baby with a very low amount of spice such as turmeric and coriander.
Can you eat uncooked/raw lentils?
No, you can not eat uncooked raw lentils, except if the lentils have sprouted. Raw lentils are like raw potatoes when eaten raw, they need to be cooked or they are poisonous to our system.
Tools and things you can need to make the masoor dal recipe:
Masoor Dal Recipe
- 3/4 cup Red Lentils
- 1 medium Onion sliced
- 1 Tomato diced
- 1 Green Chili Pepper chopped
- 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Brown Mustard Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Ginger + Garlic *see Notes
- 1-2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 4 Curry Leaves fresh if possible or dried otherwise
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
- pinch Salt
- 3 cups Water mixed with concentrated Stock
- Cilantro aka Coriander, fresh chopped
- You can keep the lentils to soak for 25 minutes. This accelerated the cooking and makes them tender.
- Heat up a pan and add the olive oil, throw in and temper mustard seeds for 1 minute or until you can smell the nutty aroma. (mustard seeds will pop up so be careful and control the heat/use a lid)
- Then add the onion tomato and chili and cook for until everything turns a bit soft.
- Discard the water of the soaking lentils. Stir soaked lentils to the pot with the curry leaves and season with ginger garlic, tomato paste, turmeric powder, chili powder, and salt.
- Pour the water into the pot over all the ingredients and mix well.
- Cook on medium heat for 15 mins, stirring occasionally so that nothing burns on. If you feel your masoor dal needs more water, then just add a little more to adjust the curry consistency (sometimes depends on the quality and age of the lentils). The dish is ready when the lentils are cooked, but not mushy.
- Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro (Coriander)
- Masoor Dal can be frozen in batches for the future
- For the Ginger + Garlic, use ginger garlic paste or chop 1/3 ginger and 2/3 garlic fine.
- Serve with chapati flatbread or rice and with vegetables and or fish/meat.
- You need to use black mustard seeds (never the yellow mustard seeds) and add curry leaves (and not curry powder as its something completely different). Don't omit these ingredients, they make this curry amazing!
- The amount of chili is usually less in this Goan masoor dal recipe but you may increase the heat if you prefer it hot.
How to serve the Masoor Dal?
I mostly serve the dal curry with rice, some kind of veg bhaji (spiced Goan vegetable stir fry) and a homemade para fish. Something nobody will tell you but serving marinated para fish with Goan dal is the bomb!
You can top the goan dal with some freshly chopped coriander at the end before serving. This gives the dish some texture and a convenient flavor.
I usually tend to just make this Indian dal with some rice, but you can also pair it with bread or enjoy all the aroma shades of the red lentil recipe all by itself.
Related dishes to the Masoor Dal Recipe:
Dear Reader, have you ever tried the Goan Masoor Dal and if yes how did you like it?
Please feel free to share your thoughts with us in a comment further below this post.
The post, Masoor Dal was first published under Goan Dal Curry on the 12th August 2011 and has been updated and enhanced ever since.