Red Lentil Dahl recipe
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Red Lentil Dahl

Posted by Emily on 1st October 2017 at 11:07pm

Let me start this by saying that I don’t like lentils. There you have it. Well ok…I didn’t like lentils, until I made this red lentil dahl, that is. As a dietitian, I know full well all the fantastic benefits of eating legumes. I love chickpeas and am happy to eat them often. In fact, you can see my delicious chickpea recipe here, my soup recipe with chickpeas here, and my salad recipe with chickpeas here, and another salad recipe with chickpeas here. I’ve tried multiple times with lentils, but previously I really have not enjoyed them.


My good friend Julia kept talking to me about her red lentil dahl. Although I knew that I didn’t like lentils, a part of me was keen to try this recipe out, because Julia is a great cook, and because I’ve been wanting to add some more ‘meat-free Monday’ recipes to my collection.  She sent me the recipe via a voice note, and two things that she said made me REALLY determined to make this recipe. Firstly, she said that she does not like usual brown lentils AT ALL, but she loves this red lentil dahl. Yay...’if she also doesn’t like lentils but loves this recipe, then maybe I will too’ I thought. Secondly, she said that she learnt this recipe from an Indian girl who she lived with who she watched make this. I love Indian food, and I know that Indian vegetarian food can be very tasty…so, I was sold! I pricked up my ears as I listened to the rest of her voice note, got out a pen and some paper and wrote down this recipe.


I made this and…Oh my word…I am officially a lentil convert…as long as they are red lentils…well, as long as they are this red lentil dahl.


Here we go:



  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • A thumb size chunk of ginger, chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Cumin
  • A dash of paprika
  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • A pinch of ground coriander
  • Oil for cooking
  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 1 Teaspoon of tomato paste
  • 1 and ½ cups of red lenils, boiled



  • Fry the onion, garlic, ginger and spices in the oil in a pan
  • Add the canned tomatoes and tomato paste to the pan
  • Add the cooked lentils to the pan
  • Simmer on the stove until desired consistency is reached


Serve with brown basmati rice and fresh coriander sprinkled on top.

You can also mix some chopped cucumber into plain yogurt and add a dollop of that on top. Yum!