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Simple Dal Recipe

Red Curry Masoor Dal (Spicy Red Lentils)

This simple dal recipe is flavor packed and easy to make. Red Curry Masoor Dal is made with red curry paste, ginger, garlic and red lentils. It's an easy weeknight meal and is freezer friendly! This recipe is slightly adapted from Rakhee Yadav's beautiful new book Heavenly Vegan Dals & Curries. | This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Masoor Dal, Red Curry Masoor Dal, Simple Dal Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 355kcal
Author Traci York | Vanilla And Bean


  • 1 Tbs Coconut Oil
  • 1 C (150g) Red Onion diced small, about 1 medium onion
  • 1 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin or 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Red Chili Flakes or 1 red chili chopped fine. leave out for less spicy.
  • 1 Tbs (heaped) Fresh Garlic grated, about 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbs (heaped) Fresh Ginger grated, about a 1" (2.5cm) piece
  • 3 Tbs Prepared Red Curry Paste
  • 1 C (192g) Red Lentils rinsed through a fine mesh strainer (aka Masoor Dal)
  • 3 C (710g) Water
  • 3/4 tsp fine Sea Salt
  • Lime

For Tempering

For Serving

  • Cilantro
  • Lime Wedges
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Small Green Chilis like serrano (sliced thin)
  • Sliced Cucumbers


  • In a large saute' pan, add the coconut oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onions and saute' on medium heat for about 3 minutes, or just until slightly softened. Stir in the cumin, red pepper flakes (or chili) if using, garlic and ginger.
    Reduce heat to medium low and stir, cooking for 2-3 minutes or until the raw smell of garlic and ginger is gone. The garlic and ginger will begin to stick to the pan.
  • Stir in the red curry paste to coat the onions - about 1 minute. To the onion/spice mixture, pour in the water and stir in the lentils, breaking up any lentils that may have stuck together from rinsing. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, put a lid on the pan and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
    Remove lid and simmer for an about 4-6 minutes. Add the salt. The spicy lentils will begin to thicken as they cook further. Remove the pan from heat and let set about 3-5 minutes, with the lid on, slightly ajar. The mixture will continue to thicken as it sets. Depending on the consistency you prefer, share while still a little loose or serve the spicy lentils after they thicken a bit. A splash of water will loosen things up a bit if the lentils dry out too far. Add a squeeze of lime and stir.

For Tempering

  • Heat coconut oil in a small sauce pan and heat until shimmering. Add cumin (seeds or ground), garlic and chili powder. Cook on med-high heat for just about a minute, stirring or until the garlic is just golden.
    Remove from heat and quickly spoon the tempering over the lentils and stir it in OR after spooning the lentils into individual bowls, dollop the tempering over the top of the lentils.

For Serving

  • Spoon the spicy red lentils over rice and garnish with lime, cilantro and green chilis. Naan is also fabulous with this recipe!
  • Freeze in individual serving containers for meal prep or in a large container. Thaw in the fridge over night and gently reheat on stovetop. Add a splash of water to loosen the lentils when reheating.


Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 465mg | Potassium: 725mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1980IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 6mg