masoor dal recipe, how to make masoor dal | easy masoor dal recipe

masoor dal fry

masoor dal or pink lentils – a simple yet tasty masoor dal recipe. this is an easy masoor dal recipe and good for everyday cooking.

masoor dal is another dal that is often made in indian homes. there are lot of dals or lentils used in indian cuisine in a variety of ways. dal is the generic term used for all lentils in india. also the soup or stew like preparation made with any lentil is called as dal.

so there are many many variations of dal with different lentils being used. each region of india have their own variations. many times i add these lentils with pigeon pea lentils/arhar dal to make dal tadka or combine it with spinach to make palak dal.

these lentils are also used in combination with other 4 lentils to make panchmel dal – a dal made with 5 lentils. some people also add this dal in veggie dishes.

masoor dal
since i often make dal, sabzi, roti or rice at home. so i make some or the other dal recipe almost everyday. and this masoor dal is one of those.

serve the masoor dal with some steamed basmati rice, pickle and papad and you have a comforting indian meal. even a side vegetable raita, cucumber raita or indian veg salad can be accompanied with the masoor dal.

masoor dal fry recipe
if you are looking for more dal recipes then do check chana dal fry, dal fry, punjabi arhar dal frymoong dal tadka and whole masoor dal recipe.

masoor dal recipe below:

5.0 from 8 reviews
masoor dal
masoor dal - simple and easy dal recipe made with pink lentils. goes well with roti or rice.
RECIPE TYPE: lentils
CUISINE: north indian
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
  • ¾ cup masoor dal or pink lentils
  • 2 cups water for pressure cooking the dal
  • ½ or 1 tsp lemon juice or as required
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sized tomato, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic, crushed or finely chopped (lahsun)
  • ¼ inch ginger, finely chopped (adrak)
  • 1 green chilies, chopped or slit (hari mirch)
  • 1-2 red chilies, whole (sabut lal mirch)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ¼ tsp or ½ red chili powder (organic or homemade chili powder can be just ¼ tsp as they are very strong)
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • ¼ or ½ tsp garam masala powder (homemade garam masala powder can be just ¼ tsp)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (dhania patta)
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, crushed (optional)
  • 1.5 to 2 cups water or as required
  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnishing (optional)
  • salt as required
  1. pick and rinse the dal well.
  2. pressure cook the masoor dal with 2 cups water, till they become soft and mushy.
  3. the dal also can be cooked in a pot.
  4. just soak the dal for 30-40 minutes, so that they cook faster if cooking in a pot.
  5. adjust the quantity of water as required
  6. when the dal is cooked, beat with a wooden spoon or wired whisk lightly.
  7. keep the cooked dal aside.
  8. in another pan or pot, heat oil or ghee. fry the cumin seeds till browned.
  9. then add onions and fry till they are light browned.
  10. add chopped ginger and garlic. stir and fry for 10-15 seconds.
  11. add green chilies and red chilies. stir.
  12. add all the dry spice powders one by one including asafoetida and stir.
  13. add the tomatoes and fry till the oil separates and the tomatoes become soft.
  14. add the cooked dal. pour 1.5 to 2 cups water. you can adjust the quantity of water as required.
  15. add salt and stir. simmer the masoor dal for 6-7 minutes more on a low or medium flame till you get the desired consistency.
  16. this dal is neither thick nor thin and has a medium consistency.
  17. lastly add kasuri methi and simmer for 1 minute.
  18. towards the end add lemon juice and 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and stir the masoor dal.
  19. serve masoor dal hot with steamed basmati rice or roti or chappati.
  20. you can also garnish masoor dal with coriander leaves if you want while serving the dal.

{ 47 Responses }

  1. akbar says

    You recipes are so good that when I first time ever cooked the daal, even my very fussy wife loved it, despite being partially jealous!!

  2. Aurangzeb says

    Hi amit dassana its a gud recipe shared.but i feel still there is scope 4 perfection.i think amit dalchini spoilz fragrance of other flvrs n spices.wht say?

  3. minder says

    thanks a lot Dassana…………your website is brilliant…………easy to understand recipes….well illustrated esp with photos……….
    May God Bless you both always with abundance knowledge….
    thanks and keep up this excellent cooking website.

  4. zahra says

    I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but it still came out really nice. My parents loved it too. This is the first time my dhal was successful :)

  5. Suparna says

    Really delicious dal, everyone loved it!! Your recipes have always turned out great except tadka dal somehow didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would taste was very different:(

    • says

      thanks suparna for sharing positive feedback on recipes. about tadka dal, if you had shared what went wrong then probably i would have been able to help.

  6. Jini says

    Made this for dinner last night and everyone loved it. I did adjust the spice levels to suit my family but that was the only difference.Thanks!

  7. Pavi says

    I tried the masoor dhal recipe yesterday Dassana & it turned out perfect, it had a lovely colour. Have been busy for the last 2 weeks & haven’t got a chance to make anything from ur blog. But whenever I do get a chance, I try recipes only from here :)

  8. anish kharalia says

    Cooked something first time in my life and I did really well. Thanks to you guys… I rocked and you rock too 😉

  9. Kim M says

    Another delicious recipe! This was wonderful. I wish I had doubled it, everyone wanted more. However – My finished dal was much darker and more brown than yours – it was definitely not the pretty mustard yellow color in your pictures. Trying to figure out why… What temperature should I be frying the cumin seeds / onions? Are the tomatoes supposed to melt into a sauce, or just get really soft? Should I be cooking the tempering in a sauce pan or a skillet?

    • says

      thanks kim. dal should have a nice yellow color. should not be brown or darker. frying can be at a medium temperature. the tomatoes do soften while sauteing and yes they melt too in the dal. either will work. if you plan to add the cooked dal to the tempering, then cook in a sauce pan. if you plan to add the the tempering to the dal, then cook in a skillet.

  10. Pradeep Alabe says

    I tried this recipe first time today, it turned out very well!

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe, I will repeat this recipe once again.

  11. Helene Mathers says

    Dassana, I’m just back from an Indian restaurant where I had masoor dahl for the first time and I loved it. I want to try your recipe I need to know what asafoetida (hing) is. Do I find that in Indian food stores? And does it go under another name?

    I also would like to know how long it keeps (refrigerated) once made. Can we freeze it?

    Thank you so much!

    • says

      helene, asafoetida or hing is a dried resin got from the roots of ferula plant. you should be able to get asafoetida in indian stores easily. its just called as hing in hindi. there are twp types. one is in the form of a powder and the other is in a form of small rock like pieces . the powdered one is light and less pungent. the small pieces are strong, so just advisable to add a pinch in the food.

  12. Priya says

    I’m an ardent fan of your dishes, but this dal rocks! Made it for a dinner party and it was licked clean! Awesome! Simple but lovely taste!

  13. ALI KHAN says

    hi dassana
    i am an amateur in the cooking field,i like your recipe.
    i wish to take cooking advice from you in future .
    i have a problem with boiling the rice,whenever i boil the rice it becomes very wet and meshed,would you please give me some tips about how to boil the rice perfectly.


    • says

      firstly, soak the rice for just 30 mins. then drain it completely. now you can heat water till it boils and then add rice or mix water (at room temperature) and rice together and keep the pan on the stove. cover and cook the rice, till the water is absorbed. for 1 cup of rice which has been soaked, you can add upto 1.5 to 2 cups of water. this depends on the quality of rice. some rice grains get cooked in 1.5 cups and for some, you may need to add sometimes even 2.5 cups of water. if pressure cooking, then for 1 cup of rice, add 1.5 cups and pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles on high flame. a tip would be add about 1/2 tsp of oil or ghee or butter to the water+rice mixture. this prevents the rice grains from being sticky. add salt too while cooking the rice.

  14. Sue says

    Bummer, whenever we try making an Indian lentil dish, it smells like it has flavoured but it’s bland. Even from our friends grandmas recipie. Which we followed to a tee. Hmm. Can anyone help. Just made this one, and didn’t have a few ingredients. Do the chilies make this spicy? And where do I buy them.
    Can the other not common spices be found at bulk barn?
    Tnx a bunch. Would like to attempt this again with all the ingredients

    • says

      yup chilies do make them spicy. but it depends on how many you add. as i mentioned before, in the absence of whole chilies, you can use the cayenne pepper. just increase the quantity depending upon the heat to 1/2 tsp or 1 tsp… 1 tsp would really make it more spicy and hot. i am not sure what is bulk barn. most of the indian spices and herbs you will get at an asian or indian store. you can also buy them online.

  15. Sue says

    Trying to make this for supper tonight as both hubby and daughter love lentil dishes . Can red chili powder be substituted for cayenne or reg chili powder that is used for chili? Also, don’t have either green or red chilies . Will it still taste good? I only have garam, for. Corriander, cumin seeds and turmeric
    Tnx. Sue

    • says

      late in replying, but next time you can add add cayenne pepper as sub for red chilli powder. if you don’t have green chilies or red chilies, just use cayenne pepper. green chilies as well as red chilies give a bit of smoky flavor and heat to the dal. even with garam masala, turmeric, cumin seeds and coriander powder the dal tastes good.

  16. Priti chakrabarty says

    Dear dassana I am looking for vegetarian recipes using (summer) seasonal vegetables. Can you help me?

    • says

      after rinsing soak the lentils in water for an hour. drain and then add the soaked lentils to a pot. add about 3.5 to 4 cups water to the lentils. add a few drops of oil and turmeric powder. cover and cook the lentils. if the water begins to froth and bubble, then remove the lid or cover it partly and continue to cook the lentils till they become mushy. if the water becomes less, then add some hot water. once the lentils are cooked, then follow the recipe.

      • Mriga says

        I regularly cook mussoor daal as its super easy to make and no need of pressure cooker. I have noticed you have suggested soaking the daal for an hour. In my experience, i just rinse it a few times (no need for soaking) and then boil it in a vessel and the whole daal is well-cooked within 15 mins! I have been cooking it like this for the past 3-4 years. You can try it one day if you are pressing on time :)

        • says

          thanks mriga for being generous with your helpful suggestions. i always cook masoor dal in a pressure cooker. i will try your method. thanks again.

  17. Kelly says

    I just made this and it tastes wonderful!! Such great comfort food!! Thank you for sharing this recipe

  18. aparna says

    5 stars for this simple and lovely dal. i have already made this twice and this is sure to become a staple in our household! thanks so much!