This Indian Red Lentil Dal make a rich and protein packed meal for any weeknight. It’s made in instant pot and is a delicious vegan curry to be served with rice. Its flavor packed and yet an easy recipe that is made by using simple pantry staples.
Also known as red lentil dahl, it’s a quick and a one pot healthy meal. I make it quite frequently and has been a staple for my family since years.
In fact, dal recipes are a staple in India since generations. We grew up eating it almost every day. There are many other varieties of ways of making dal. At the same time there are different varieties of lentils as well available.
Few of the lentil/dal recipes that I have created are:
However, red lentil curry tops my favorite list. It is known as masoor dal in India. Also, I believe that its one of the easiest to digest comparatively. At the same time, it has the high protein content as well as compared to other lentils.
Therefore, I prefer making this red lentil dal recipe mostly and this time I decided to share it with you all:
Ingredients you will need:
Dry red chilies
I have used these easily available ingredients which you may buy from any local grocery stores. However, I have provided links to few of them here for your convenience.
If you plan to buy from these affiliate links then I get a small commission which in turn encourages me to bring in more delicious recipes for you all.
- Asafetida – its called Hing in India. It’s a great digestive and flavors this recipe beautifully.
- Cumin seeds – it’s a member of parsley family but is in form of dried seed. We call it jeera in India. These increase digestion and is packed with antioxidant. Along with being a great source of iron it is added to many recipes for umami flavor.
- Mustard seeds – they are good source of many vitamins and minerals but mainly promotes brain health.
- Fennel seeds – its highly nutritious and adds lot of flavor to Indian recipes. These reduce inflammation, improves heart health. They are mostly found in pale green color.
- Red lentils – it’s a kind of lentils that is orange in color. They are excellent source of protein, and are rich in iron, folate and also low in calories. However, to make it a complete protein its best to pair with good carbohydrates.
- Turmeric powder – it’s known to have medicinal properties. Along with being a great anti-inflammatory it also helps improve depression and arthritis.
Therefore, you must have noticed that I have used easy, simple and healthy ingredients in this masoor dal tadka recipe. I made it in very simple steps also.
Hence, I insist you to go through the steps and make this recipe ASAP. Since, I have used mostly pantry staples so I am sure you all must be having all the ingredients.
How to make Red Lentil Dal
Firstly, I turned on my instant pot at sauté mode and heated oil in it.
Secondly, I added dry red chili, asafetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fennel seeds to it. Then, I sauteed it for 1 minute.
Next, I sauteed onion and garlic in it until they were translucent.
Thereafter, I tossed in tomatoes followed by rinsed red lentils.
Afterwards, I added water, turmeric and salt to it. Then, I stirred it nicely and cancelled the sauté mode.
Now, I closed its lid and sealed the valve. Then, I turned it on again at manual high for 10 minutes.
Once done, I turned it off and I released the pressure. Then, I opened the lid and stirred it nicely again.
Lastly, I garnished it with lots of chopped cilantro and served with rice and favorite air fryer sweet potato cubes.
We are very fond of this vegan dal recipe and enjoy it heartily whenever I make it.
It is very frequent in my household. So, now it is your turn to make it and enjoy this delicious and a complete wholesome meal with your loved ones.
- Make sure to rinse the red lentils thoroughly. This helps is washing away the extra starch since we made it in one pot.
- After adding red lentils to the instant pot make sure to keep sautéing for 2-3 minutes so as to avoid any sticking. It is important to sauté lentil for few minutes so as to roast them properly. This enhances the flavors of this dish.
I love this is the easiest meal and I often serve it on any weeknight. It is hassle free, healthy, nutritious and yet super satisfying.
This taste best when served immediately. However, the leftovers can be refrigerated in an air tight glass container. Simply add very little water and adjust salt and then warm it on stove top for the best results.
Its protein packed and very nutritious. It is flavored with Indian herbs and simple ingredients. Its vegan and gluten free. It has healthy fats and lots of antioxidant properties. Overall, it can be enjoyed as an everyday meal.
Yes, I have described the steps in the notes below in the recipe card.
Yes, they are the same and can be easily found in any grocery store.
Did you make it?
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Red Lentil Dal
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 whole dry red chilies
- 1 tsp asafetida (Hing)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic/garlic paste
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 1 cup rinsed red lentil
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- salt as per taste
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (to garnish)
- Turn on your instant pot at sauté mode and heat oil in it. Add dry red chilies, asafetida (Hing), cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds to the hot oil and let them crackle. Sauté it for 30 seconds to make sure it does not stick.
- Add onions and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. (do not let the onions get brown).
- Add tomatoes and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add red lentils and mix well.
- Now, add water, turmeric and salt. Stir and cancel the sauté mode. Close the lid and seal the valve. Turn it on at manual high for10 minutes.
- Once done, turn it off and release the pressure. Open the lid and stir nicely. Garnish and serve over rice or quinoa.
- For stove top option – heat oil at high flame in stock pot and add the ingredients from step 2. Then follow steps 3-6. Now, bring the flame to medium and cook covered for atleast 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Feel free to stir at intervals to avoid overflowing. Once the lentils are soft, turn off the flame, garnish with cilantro, stir and serve.
- Variation: combine rinsed red lentil and water in a saucepan. As soon as it starts to boil a foam will be formed at its top which is starch. Spoon out that foam without reducing the quality of water. Once the foam is gone add turmeric and salt to it. Let it cook at medium-high flame until the lentils are soft and done. Turn it off and leave it covered. In another pan heat oil and follow steps 2-4. Let it cook very nicely until tomatoes are mushy. Turn it off and spread this tadka on top of the cooked lentils. Stir and garnish with cilantro.
- If the refrigerated lentils thicken quite a bit then add very little water and adjust salt. Then warm it up on stove top for the best results.
- While adding red chilies to the hot oil break them into two pieces. This adds nice spicy flavor to it and also avoids splatter.