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Spicy Lentil Dahl

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (20 Reviews)


Pan of spiced dahl with jar of mango chutney
Brett Stevens/Cultura/Riser/Getty Images

Dahl, which is also often spelled dhal,daal and dal, is essentially a thick lentil soup that is often prepared with ghee or clarified butter, but this recipe uses just a little sesame oil for depth and flavor in place of the ghee. This simple dahl is one of my favorite go-to recipes as it is prepared with all pantry staples, it is easy and quick to prepare, and my friends and family love it.

I like to serve this with my cheesy flatbread and a little dollop of soy yogurt.

Serves 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 T. sesame oil or, alternatively, olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 T. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 t. coriander
  • 1 t. tumeric
  • ¼ t. cardamom
  • ¼ t. cinnamon
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  • 1 t. salt, or to taste
  • 2 T. tomato paste


1. In a 3-quart stockpot or other medium-sized soup pot, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.

2. Stirring constantly, add the water or broth, lentils, spices and salt. Bring to a low boil, then turn down the heat to low, cover and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are very tender.

3. Stir in the tomato paste until well combined. Cook several minutes more, or until the soup is desired temperature and consistency, adding more water to the dahl if needed. Serve hot with Dairy-free Cheesy Flatbread and garnish with a dollop of dairy-free soy yogurt if desired.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Fave dal...make it all of the time., Member cosmick57

Glad I found this recipe...I love the combination of spices. It's quick, easy to make, and DELICIOUS! I use just a ""little"" more (heaping teaspoons) than the recipe calls for...I like it spicy! Don't miss this one!

4 out of 4 people found this helpful.

See all 20 reviews

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