brown lentils recipe

Whole Masoor Dal

Whole masoor dal

Lentils are an incredible way of eating a high fiber and protein diet! Masoor Dal is one of the easiest, most flavorful dump-and-go vegan lentil recipes that can be made stove top or in an Instant Pot. It pairs well with rice, naan, paratha, or by itself with vegetables.

This is a brown lentil that is not to be confused with peeled or "split" masoor dal, which is red. They are the same exact dal, but the brown skin is removed to reveal the red lentil.

whole masoor dal

Masoor dal tends to be on the thicker side and gets creamier as it cooks, no dairy involved!

cook Time: 1H 10min


– 1 tablespoon neutral oil – 1 cup masoor dal, whole – 1 small yellow onion – ½ teaspoon cumin seeds – 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste – 1 medium tomato, (or 2-3tablespoon tomato paste) – pinch asafoetida, optional – ¼ teaspoon turmeric – ½ teaspoon chili powder – ¼ teaspoon garam masala – salt, to taste


Soak the dried lentils in a bowl with twice the amount of water for a minimum of an hour. If the soak time is skipped, simply cook the lentils for longer until soft.


In a pot on medium heat, sauté the onions and cumin seeds in oil until the onions begin to brown. Then, add in the rest of the spices, ginger garlic paste, and diced tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes soften.


Once the tomatoes are cooked, pour in the dal with about 3 cups of water and stir everything together. Cover the pot with a lid and  simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every now and then and checking the water levels to see if it needs more liquid.


The dal is done once it is creamy and soft. The amount of water is based off of preference, it can be a bit soupy or close to dry. Take it off heat.


Spritz lemon juice and add chopped cilantro. To make it super rich, add a tablespoon of ghee to finish. Serve over rice or with roti.

It's the perfect dish for a weeknight meal prep or family meal!

And that's another weeknight meal to add to your arsenal! Enjoy!!