Curried Lentils (Dal) with Rice

23 40 802
Ingredients Minutes Calories
Prep Cook Servings
20 min 20 min 8
Curried Lentils (Dal) with Rice
Health Rating


2 cup Red lentils, raw
2 tbsp Ghee (Or a vegetable oil of your choice)
2 cup chopped Shallots (Or red onion)
1/4 cup, chopped Ginger root
1 pepper(s) Serrano pepper (Or other hot chili, or to taste)
2 tsp Garlic (Minced or pressed)
2 tsp Coriander, ground
1 tsp Turmeric, ground
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Cardamom, ground
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground cloves
1/4 tsp Nutmeg, ground
8 cup Water, filtered (Hot water)
2 cup chopped Tomato (Peeled, seeded, drained or low sodium canned tomato - drained)
2 tsp Salt (Or to taste)
3 cup Basmati rice, dry
1 cup Vegetable oil (If cooking papadam)
16 small papadum(s) Papadum (Optional)
2 tbsp Lime juice (fresh) (Freshly squeezed)
1/2 cup Cilantro (coriander) (Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish)


Pick over, rinse, and drain the lentils.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the clarified butter or oil over medium-high heat.

Add the shallot or onion, ginger, and chili and saute until very soft and golden, about 8 minutes.

Add the garlic, ground spices, and nutmeg and saute about 1 minute longer.

Add the lentils and hot water and bring to a boil.

Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are very tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomato and salt to taste and continue to cook, uncovered, until the lentils are very soft, about 10 minutes longer.

Meanwhile cook the rice.

To cook the papadams, in a wok, deep-fat fryer or saute pan, pour oil to a depth of 1 inch.  

Heat to 185 c or until a bread piece dropped in the oil turns golden within 30 seconds.

Carefully add a papadam to the hot oil and cook until puffed, about 3 seconds, do not allow to brown.

Using tongs, transfer the papadam to a wire rack to drain well.  

Cook the remaining papadams in the same manner, allowing the oil to return to 185 c between each.

Remove the lentils from the heat.  Stir in the lime juice, chopped cilantro, and more salt if needed.

Ladle into individual bowls or deep plates, add a scoop of the hot rice to each serving, and garnish with cilantro leaves.  

Serve the papadams (if used) alongside.


In some versions of dal the lentils are prepared after cooking - in this recipe they are left whole.  For a drier result, add only enough liquid to cover the lentils by 1/2 an inch.  Alternative legumes include split mung beans, yellow split peas, black eyed peas, small red beans, and chickpeas.

This dish freezes very well.  If cooking for one or two you can prepare less rice and put the remaining dal in the freezer.

Crisp wafers made from ground dried lentils or a combination of lentils and rice flour (papadams) are available from Indian markets or some grocery stores.  These make a traditional accompaniment.

Nutrition Facts

Per Portion

Calories 802
Calories from fat 289
Calories from saturated fat 52
Total Fat 32 g
Saturated Fat 5.8 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 15.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 8.7 g
Cholesterol 8.4 mg
Sodium 889 mg
Potassium 1008 mg
Total Carbohydrate 105 g
Dietary Fiber 10.9 g
Sugars 2.5 g
Protein 23.3 g

Dietary servings

Per Portion

Grain 2.5
Meat Alternative 0.9
Vegetables 2.5

Energy sources