You are here

Member since April 2003

Indian Dal

What you need: 

1 medium onion, chopped
1 small hot pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup small red lentils
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

What you do: 

1. Place onion, garlic, and hot pepper in a pot, cover with oil (be generous with the oil ;they should swim in it). Let all of it simmer, about 5 minutes. Add lentils, and stir.
2. Add spices stir, add water to cover lentils. Cook at medium to medium high.
3. You will have to keep checking because the water cooks down and you will have to add more to make the dal the consistency you like. Stir often because it helps the lentils cook down well.
4. Taste and adjust seasoning. Be aware that you don't want too much cardamom and ginger; they take control of flavors, unlike cumin and coriander.
Serve with spinach, naan, and rice.

Preparation Time: 
1 hour
Cooking Time: 
Recipe Category: 


I thought this was delicious.  I added a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach at the end and a little bit of coconut milk.  I didn't have any cardamon so I just skipped that.  I really liked it and I'm having some leftovers for lunch today!


I thought I would add my two cents worth.  I enjoyed this dahl a lot.  I've never made dahl with spinach before and it was very good indeed.  The only minor change I made to the recipe was that I used 1 tsp of finely chopped fresh ginger, instead of dried.  I fried the ginger with the onion and garlic.  I didn't use fresh chilli, simply because I did not have one.  I ground all the spices in a coffee grinder, including 2 whole cardamom pods and 1/2 tsp of peppercorns.  Freshly ground spices are a strong preference of mine and I believe them to be far more pungent than ready-ground spices, and much better suited to Indian cooking.  Oh yes, I used 2 cups of steamed fresh spinach and, for those of you who like to be a little more specific, about 3-4 cups of water.  I served it with Basmati rice and salad.  Next time I would also like to accompany that with a cucumber raita.  A big thank you to Aminah made it up for creating this delicious variation on dahl.  Well done!

Rebecca  :)


This dahl is totally awesome, my daughter and I couldn't stop eating it!  I left the spinach out since I've never been a big fan of cooked spinach and I added some turmeric to the menagerie of spices.  Most excellent!  I will definitely make this one again.....and again.....and again.....


This is one of my favorite go-to recipes for entertaining friends. It's easy and delicious and everyone I've ever made it for loved it (even my meat-eating husband who always "hated indian food"). As for the spinach, I usually put it in with the lentils and cook it all down to what I call a swamp-like consistency. I also use green lentils. SO GOOD!


Very very good recipe.  We will definitely be eating this one again.  Awesome!  Thanks.

peas and love....


Is the spinach served on the side or is it supposed to be cooked with the lentils?


This was good.  I am addicted to tarka dhall from the indian take-away.  Whilst this wasn't the same it ccertainly sastisfied my cravings.

I started to cook this recipe an d forgot that I didn't have any spnach.  It was very good without it.  I had to add more spices than the recipe said - but I think that's coz my teaspoons are such a wierd shape and I can't meassure with them properly!

I will be making this again for sure.


this was excellent!

I added another clove of garlic and since there were no measurements for spinach and water I ended up going with 2 cups of frozen spinach and almost 3 cups of water. I also didnt have any ginger, cardamon, or corriander (i obviously need to hit the store) so I used some curry powder as a sub.

I served it over brown rice and it was great, plus I have plenty of left overs for the next day or two.

I think next time I'll add a little more pepper to it, I have this great Alepo pepper powder thats tasty and quite hot. Im also think Ill throw in some cubed potatos and maybe a dollop of fake sour cream.


This is awesome! I have been craving the dal at the Indian place next to my apartment but at 10 bucks for dinner, I can't go there much! This is perfect; I added thinly sliced zucchini to it as it was almost done, and simmered for a few minutes longer till zucchini soft. It's what the place next door does :-) They call it Zucchini Dal. With some Naan bread and basmati, this is great- thanks!


Excellent recipe.



Log in or register to post comments