Masoor (Red Lentil) Daal

Masoor Daal or red lentils are the fastest cooking of all lentils, do not need pre-soaking, are light and easy to digest and are widely available. This simple daal is very quick and easy to make and is absolutely delicious!

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  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4-5 cups boiled water
  • 2 tsp ghee or sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin or garam masala
  • ½-1tsp good quality sea or rock salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp raw sugar (unrefined) or jaggery
  • Sml bunch of fresh coriander (finely chopped stems, roughly chopped leaves)


  1. Rinse the lentils in the saucepan 3-4 times until the water runs clear. Add the boiling water (more for a thinner daal and less for a thicker daal) and cook over low-medium heat for 15 mins or until the lentils have lost their form. In a separate pan, heat up the ghee then add the mustard seeds and curry leaves

  2. When the mustard seeds are popping, add the garlic, tomato and coriander stems and cook until the tomatoes disintegrate. Add the turmeric and garam masala/ground cumin and cook for another 30 seconds then add the mixture to the lentil pan. Add the salt and sugar to the daal and cook for another 5 mins until looking smooth and delicious. Allow to rest for a few minutes then add the fresh coriander leaves. Serve with basmati rice or yeast-free mountain breads.


    If you want to include veggies, add some fresh green beans, topped and tailed and cut into 3cm long pieces to the daal at the same time as the spice mixture.

  4. Cooking time: 20mins

    Serves: 4 people

Nadia Marshall

Nadia Marshall is an Ayurvedic Consultant, Cook, Health Writer and Managing Director of the Mudita Institute & Health Clinic near Byron Bay. Their ‘WARMTH’ cookbook is available as a FREE download from their website.