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Whole red lentils served in a white plate with rice and napkin
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4.64 from 11 votes

Masoor Dal

Masoor dal or whole red lentils curry is perfect with parathas and rice.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian Cuisine
Keyword: Masoor Dal, Toor Dal
Servings: 4
Author: Gayatri Singh


  • Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot
  • Saucepan


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked masoor dal pressure cook the dal with salt and a pinch of asafoetida in the instant pot for 18 minutes.
  • 1 onion small diced
  • 1 tomato medium diced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 inch ginger finely chopped
  • 2 or to taste red or green chillies sliced
  • 1 tsp coriander stalks
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp or to taste black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp or to taste red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 each bay leaf, cinnamon, mace, red chilli and stone flower
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 each cardamom, cloves and peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tsp my golden ghee or butter or normal ghee
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander for garnishing


  • In a thick-bottomed saucepan or cast iron pot, heat mustard oil. Once hot add in all the whole spices and let them splutter.
  • Now add the coriander stalks, garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add in the onion, chilli and saute for 5-6 minutes till the onion is nice and golden. Always add some salt when you cook onions.
  • Add in the spice powders, mix well and add 1 tbsp of water to prevent them from burning. Tip in the tomatoes. Mix it well, saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Tip in the lentils, mix it well. Add 3/4 cups of water. Keep it on medium flame and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add freshly chopped coriander and golden ghee. Mix it well.
  • Serve hot with rice or rotis.