Whole Masoor Dal
Whole Masoor Dal
5 from 7 votes
Experience the exquisite flavours of India with our authentic whole masoor dal recipe. Easy to prepare, this hearty and nutritious meal promises a culinary adventure for both novice cooks and seasoned foodies. 
Whole Masoor Dal

If you’re looking for a comforting and nutritious dish that’s bursting with flavor, you’ve come to the right place. Today, I’m excited to share with you my recipe for Whole Masoor Dal, a classic Indian lentil dish that’s hearty, satisfying, and packed with aromatic spices.

Originating from the Indian subcontinent, this dish has been cherished for generations for its simplicity and incredible taste.

Whole Masoor Dal, also known as brown lentils, takes center stage in this recipe, bringing a rich earthiness and creamy texture to the dish.

Combined with a medley of spices including turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder, each bite is a symphony of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Despite its complex flavors, this recipe is surprisingly easy to make, making it perfect for beginners and seasoned cooks alike. With just a handful of ingredients and a few simple steps, you can whip up a delicious and nutritious meal that’s sure to impress your family and friends.

Expert Tip: Ghee adds a nutty aroma and a silky texture to the dish, taking it to the next level of deliciousness.


Whole Masoor Dal (Brown Lentils): Whole Masoor Dal, also known as brown lentils, is the star of this dish. These nutritious legumes are rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, making them a wholesome addition to any meal. They lend a creamy texture and hearty flavor to the dal, creating a comforting and satisfying dish.

Salt: Salt not only enhances the natural flavors of the lentils but also helps to balance the spices and seasonings in the dish. It adds depth and complexity to the overall flavor profile, ensuring each bite is perfectly seasoned.

Chilli Powder: Chilli powder provides a subtle kick of heat to the dal, adding warmth and depth to the dish. It complements the other spices and enhances the overall flavor profile, without overpowering the dish with spiciness.

Turmeric Powder: Turmeric powder not only adds a vibrant golden hue to the dal but also imparts a warm and earthy flavor. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory properties and adds depth to the dish, elevating it to new heights of deliciousness.

Cumin Powder: Cumin powder brings a warm and nutty flavor to the dal, enhancing its overall complexity. It pairs beautifully with the other spices and adds a delightful aroma to the dish.

Coriander Powder: Coriander powder adds a citrusy and slightly sweet flavor to the dal, balancing the earthiness of the lentils and spices. It lends a refreshing brightness to the dish, making each bite incredibly flavorful.

Coriander (Finely Chopped): Fresh coriander, also known as cilantro, adds a burst of freshness and color to the dish. It’s used as a garnish and adds a vibrant herbal flavor that complements the other ingredients perfectly.


Butter: Butter is used to prepare the tadka, or tempering, for the dal. It adds richness and depth to the dish, creating a luxurious mouthfeel and enhancing the overall flavor profile.

Garlic (Finely Chopped): Garlic adds a pungent and aromatic flavor to the tadka, infusing the dish with its distinctive taste. It adds depth and complexity to the overall flavor profile, elevating the dal to new heights of deliciousness.

Cumin Seeds: Cumin seeds are toasted in butter to release their warm and nutty flavor, which infuses the tadka with a delightful aroma and taste. They add depth and complexity to the dish, enhancing its overall flavor profile.

Chilli Powder: Additional chilli powder is added to the tadka to intensify the heat and flavor, adding a spicy kick to the dish. Adjust the amount according to your personal preference for heat.

Expert Tip: Experiment with different variations of tadka to customize the flavor of the dal to your liking

Serving Suggestions

  • Rice: Whole Masoor Dal pairs wonderfully with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice. The fluffy grains of rice provide the perfect canvas for soaking up the flavorful dal, creating a harmonious and satisfying meal.
  • Roti or Naan: Serve the dal alongside freshly made roti or naan bread for a complete and comforting meal. The warm and pillowy texture of the bread complements the creamy dal, making each bite a delight to savor.
  • Pickles and Chutneys: Accompany the dal with a selection of pickles and chutneys for added flavor and texture. Tangy mango pickle, spicy lime pickle, or refreshing mint chutney are excellent choices that complement the richness of the dal.
  • Yogurt: A dollop of cool and creamy yogurt adds a refreshing contrast to the spicy dal. Serve it on the side or drizzle it over the dal for a creamy finish that balances the heat of the spices.
  • Fresh Salad: Pair the dal with a crisp and refreshing salad for a burst of freshness and color. A simple salad of mixed greens, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions dressed with lemon juice and olive oil makes a perfect accompaniment to the dal.
  • Papadums: Crispy papadums or poppadoms are a popular accompaniment to Indian meals and make a delicious addition to Whole Masoor Dal. Serve them on the side for a satisfying crunch that complements the creamy texture of the dal.
  • Lemon Wedges: Serve lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the dal just before serving. The bright acidity of the lemon adds a burst of freshness to the dish, enhancing its overall flavor profile.

Expert Tip: Simply heat a dry skillet over medium heat and add the spices. Toast them gently until fragrant, being careful not to burn them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use other types of lentils for this recipe?

Yes, you can. While Whole Masoor Dal (brown lentils) is traditionally used for this recipe, you can also use other types of lentils such as split red lentils (masoor dal), green lentils, or yellow lentils. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the type of lentils used.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Absolutely! Whole Masoor Dal actually tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld together. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. When ready to serve, reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of water if needed to adjust the consistency.

Is this recipe suitable for vegetarians and vegans?

Yes, this recipe is completely vegetarian. To make it vegan-friendly, you can substitute butter with a plant-based alternative such as vegan butter or oil. Ensure that all other ingredients used are also vegan-friendly.

Can I adjust the spice level of this dish?

Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the amount of chili powder according to your personal preference for heat. You can also add fresh green chilies for extra heat or reduce the amount of chili powder for a milder flavor. Taste as you go and adjust the spices accordingly.

Can I freeze Whole Masoor Dal?

Yes, you can freeze Whole Masoor Dal for longer-term storage. Allow the dal to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.

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Whole Masoor Dal

Whole Masoor Dal

by Nabeela Kauser
Experience the exquisite flavours of India with our authentic whole masoor dal recipe. Easy to prepare, this hearty and nutritious meal promises a culinary adventure for both novice cooks and seasoned foodies. 
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4
Calories 161 kcal


  • 200 g Whole Masoor Dal Brown lentils
  • 400 ml Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 handful Coriander Finely chopped


  • 50 g Butter
  • 3 cloves Garlic Finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder


  • In a large pan, bring the water to a boil.
  • Rinse the brown lentils thoroughly then add the lentils and spices to the water, and cook for 30 minutes until lentils are tender, on low heat.
  • Allow to simmer until the curry has thickened to your personal preference
  • For the tadka in a separate pan add the butter and allow it to melt completely
  • Add the chopped garlic, chilli powder, and cumin seeds then sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the tadka to the lentil curry – tadka can also be added upon serving if preferred.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander and enjoy!


Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 161kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 687mgPotassium: 258mgFibre: 5gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 693IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Cheap, Comfort Food, Dal, Food, Healthy, Lentils, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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