Meatless Monday: Red Lentil Dahl

Meat free Monday recipes: This week it’s Red Lentil Dahl.

Red Lentil Dahl

Some say I can’t find a picture of my dahl….. Photo: Igor D

Again for this weeks meatless Monday post I have a recipe which is quick and easy to prepare as well as being really healthy and full of flavour. Last time it was the turn of homemade pesto (which I had again this evening). This week I am taking us father east to India with a red lentil dahl recipe. Like the pesto, this really is something which you can throw together from just a few ingredients in back of the cupboard. It is also super healthy as I can’t think of anything in it which is bad for you. Okay yes it has a little oil in it but that’s good for us in moderation so let’s relax on that score.

Dahl is filled with lots of wonderful and warming spices without being too autumnal or heavy, so it’s perfect when the spring weather takes a nose dive and the rain comes out- like it has this last week. Dahl is super quick to make, in fact the slowest part of the whole recipe is making the rice to go along with it! Now one thing I learned from Hana when we have had dahl is that you must have it with a grain like rice for the protein in the lentils to be fully absorbed. I’m not 100% sure on it, but I’d recommend having it with rice to be safe.

Click below for the recipe!

Spicy dahl with red lentils

You can vary the spices used and their quantities to your own taste.


Vegetable oil to coat your pan
1 large onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic minced
A thumb sized bit of fresh ginger, grated
500ml-1ltr vegetable stock
200g ready to cook dried red lentils

Spice mix
1tsp cumin
1tsp dried coriander
1tsp tumeric
5 cardamom pods
Pinch of cinnamon
2 dessert spoons tomato puree

White rice for two people
Fresh coriander to garnish.


Prepare the ingredients as directed above. Pop on enough rice for two people – this should take around 30 minutes to cook.

Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large heavy bottomed pan. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger to flavour the oil. After a minute add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or till soft and translucent.

Add the lentils and spices then stir to coat in the oil. Add 500ml of the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. If it looks like you need more water you can add some of the remainder, you’ll probably end up using it all but I prefer to add it gradually so it doesn’t become a soup instead of dahl.

Close to the end stir in the tomato puree then cook for another few minutes before serving with the rice and top with a little finely chopped fresh coriander. It also goes really well with plain yogurt.


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