Red Masoor Lentil – “Hyderabadi Red Dal”


Red Masoor Lentil- “Dal”- Serves 4 

This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s famous cookbook, Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian .This one requires only a few ingredients and really brings out the flavor of the lentils. I am such a big fan of this recipe that it almost didn’t make it to the dinner table on account of all the bowlfuls I “sampled” during preparation! I did eventually manage to save some however and served it up as a side dish to my Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani.



  • 1 cup red Masoor lentil
  • 3 tablespoons (for tempering) plus 2 tablespoons for boiling the lentil
  • 2 dried red Kashmiri chillies
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds “Rai”
  • 8-10 curry leaves-“kadhi Patha”
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric “Haldi”
  • salt to taste
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped – for garnish


Wash, and clean the lentils. Soak for 30 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups water, oil, turmeric and salt to taste  and boil until cooked. This should take 25 minutes. Gently mash it with a “Mandira” or spoon.(Do not use a pressure cooker as it will get mushy). Keep aside.

Note: After the lentil is cooked, if you find the lentil consistency too thick, add hot water .IMG_3584

Tempering- Heat oil in a small vessel. Add mustard seeds, chillies, curry leaves. Then the garlic and swirl the pan around. The garlic should get slightly brown from all sides. Be careful not to burn it.IMG_3587

Add this to the cooked lentil and cook on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice and mix. Check for salt. Garnish with cilantro.

Serve hot with white rice or biryani. Enjoy!IMG_3593


23 comments to Red Masoor Lentil – “Hyderabadi Red Dal”