Red Lentil Dhal


  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¬†1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup diced brown onion
  • 1 green chili pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 400 gm can chopped tomatoes tomato
  • Juice of one half a lemon
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnish


Place the rinsed lentils in a medium saucepan along with 3 cups of water. Turn the heat to medium and allow the lentils to cook for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium frying pan set to medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cinnamon stick; cook for 60 to 90 seconds, until fragrant.

Add the onion, green chilli, garlic, and ginger; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions are turning translucent.

Add the turmeric, cardamom, paprika, salt, and tomato to the pan. Add the tomato and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.

Once the lentils are cooked, drain off any excess water. Stir the spiced onion mixture into the pot of lentils. Add the lemon juice and stir well. Taste and add salt as needed. Garnish with coriander serve with rice and homemade naan (see my other recipe).