This 30 minute red lentil dhal recipe is so dang tasty, when you make it once, you will make it again, and again and again. This lentil dhal is fantastic for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even meal prep. So give it a go! You won’t regret it. Oh and this recipe is vegan!
Dhal is a curry style dish that uses pulses. And lentils are the most commonly used pulse to make it, although there have been occasions where I’ve seen split pea and bean dhal. Hmm, that sounds like something I can experiment with later on….but for now, let’s stick with the lentils.
I love dhal, not just because it tastes good, but because it’s made with turmeric. This is more of a side note so I won’t bore you with every detail, but there has been a tone of studies proving that turmeric is extremely beneficial for the body.
It’s an anti-inflammatory, it helps balance out your blood sugar to prevent diabetes, it’s great for gut health as it kills bacteria and it’s a great detox. So keeping a jar of turmeric in your spice rack would be a great idea.
What do I serve with red lentil dhal?
Well, you can serve it with pretty much anything. However, there are 2 things in particular that red lentil dhal pair beautifully with. The first one being rice, I like to simply serve some steamed rice in a bowl, then I add a nice big ladle of dhal over the top, then garnish with some herbs and happy days.
Dhal is also amazing with chapatis, and this is my favourite way to serve dhal so I highly recommend that you try this. You don’t have to make the chapatis from scratch, I just get the frozen un-cooked ones from the supermarket, and then I just fry them in a bit of oil until golden brown on both sides.
I then like to tear up a piece chapati and spoon some of the dhal on top. What you then have in your hand is one epic little flavour bomb. I guarantee that if you serve lentil dhal like this for your guests, they will be wowed and will just end up wanting more.
Any kind of flatbread will work, you could also use naan bread and that will also be great. However, I find that chapatis have this crispiness and flakiness that makes it so satisfying to eat with the dhal.
Can you freeze lentil dhal?
Absolutely, and this is important to know because dhal is one of the best things to keep for leftovers. Having it as a side for a future dinner, for lunch the next day at work, I’ve even heard that some people have it for breakfast.
I just stored it in a container, then placed it in the freezer. Then, when you want to use it again, just let it thaw overnight in the fridge, transfer the dhal to a pot, and reheat over low flame. Too easy!!
Why split red lentils?
Split lentils are exactly how they sound, each lentil has been split in half. And I love using these because the lentils cook quicker. This is what they look like.
And why red lentils? Simply for the colour. And I know that may not seem like a big deal, but I remember making lentil dhal with black lentils. And in the end, the dish just looked like dark green slop.
Don’t get me wrong, it was some pretty dang tasty slop, but don’t forget we eat with our eyes and red lentils just give that nice comforting curry like colour and feel to it. So red lentils are the way to go.
Now before we move on to the recipe, here is a quick step by step guide of what making red lentil dhal should look like.
As you can see, it’s a very straight-forward dish….
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And if you are keen to make this recipe, then you may want to serve them with these Home-made Flat-breads, which have gotten some great reviews from all the people who made it.
Red Lentil Dhal Recipe
This is one of the tastiest lentil recipes you will ever have. So flavoursome, so full of life and so easy to make.
- 400 g of split red lentils
- 4½ cups of vegetable stock
- 1½ tsp of turmeric powder
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon of ghee (use grapeseed oil if you're vegan)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
- 1 onion peeled and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
- 1 handful of coriander roughly chopped for garnish
Put your red lentils, vegetable stock, turmeric and a pinch of salt in a pot, then bring to a boil. Once the stock is boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer.
Simmer the dhal for about 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally. If the dhal sticks to the bottom of the pot, you can take the pot off the heat, give it a quick stir and then put it back over the heat.
Meanwhile, preheat a small pot over medium-high flame. When the pot is nice and hot, add your ghee. Once the ghee is melted, add your cumin seeds and mustard seeds then cover with a lid. You should hear the seeds start to pop.
Once the popping has stopped take the lid off and then add your onion, garlic, and chilli flakes. Fry for a couple of minutes until the onions are nice and translucent.
Once the dhal has simmered for about 20-25 minutes, turn the heat off, add the onion-spice mixture and stir it through.
Garnish the dhal with your chopped coriander, then serve with rice, chapati, roti, naan bread or any other kind of flatbread.
- This is a vegetarian recipe, but if you want to make it vegan, all you have to do is replace the ghee with a light oil such as vegetable oil.
- If the lentil dhal seems too mild or too spicy, don't be afraid to add more or fewer chilli flakes.
- Remember, this dish pairs really nicely with steamed rice or chapatis.
- Lentil dhal also makes for great leftovers. So if you are someone who is big on meal prep, this is a definitely a recipe to consider trying.