[Recipe] Red Lentil (Dhal) Curry, Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free

Red Lentil (Dhal) Curry, Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free | www.fussfreecooking.com

Hey guys, it’s Wednesday!!!

Can’t believe we are half way through the week already? Doesn’t this week feel short or what!

Anyway, as promised in my last post, here is my red lentil curry. When it comes to different types of pulses that are available, red lentils are my favourite for one obvious reason – they require very little time to cook and there’s no need for pre-soaking.

I personally prefer to have lentil curry with homemade flatbread. Oh, they are such a delicious combination! If you have no time to make your own flatbread, rice can work just as well.

This is a revision of my lentil curry recipe which I shared ages ago. ­­I was two months into blogging 4 years ago. I don’t usually read my older posts but writing this post has brought back some memories when I had just started this blog. I can’t believe this hobby actually stuck with me for so long. I guess the same goes to my love for lentil curry.

The difference in the way I cook the lentil curry now is I add way more curry leaves and green chillies. Also, I am becoming more comfortable with using asafoetida (aka hing) in cooking legume  based curries. Needless to say, it is an essential ingredient although you only need a very teeny tiny amount to make the curry taste authentic.

Red Lentil (Dhal) Curry, Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free | www.fussfreecooking.com

Red Lentil (Dhal) Curry, Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free | www.fussfreecooking.com

Red Lentil (Dhal) Curry, Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free | www.fussfreecooking.com

Red Lentil (Dhal) Curry, Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free

4 servings with rice/flatbread

Red Lentil (Dhal) Curry, Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free


  • 2 cups of red lentils
  • 5 cups of hot water
  • 2 tsps turmeric
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ brown onion, chopped
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves (about 8 – 10 leaves)
  • 1 tsp of garlic paste
  • 1 tsp of ginger paste
  • ½ green chili, sliced (see note)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (to taste)
  • A very small pinch of asofoetida
  • ½ fresh tomato, diced
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a medium sized pot, add about 5 cups of boiling water, 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and lentils and let them simmer until boiling point on medium heat. Once it has reached boiling point, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until it’s softened; borderline mushy. Set aside. (Make sure you stir the lentil mixture every so often to make sure it does not stick on the bottom of the pot.)
  2. In the meantime, in a separate pot/pan, add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to pop, add chopped onion and sauté until slightly brown.
  3. Add curry leaves and green chilli. Continue to sauté until they become slightly aromatic.
  4. Add ginger & garlic paste, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, ground chilli and asafoetida. Continue to temper the spice mixture until aromatic over low heat. Add diced tomato continue to sauté the mixture until the oil begins to separate from the mixture. Add a bit water should the mixture begins to stick to the pot.
  5. Add the fried mixture to the lentils and stir well. Let lentil curry to simmer until it start to boil.
  6. Season with salt and serve immediately with homemade flatbread or rice.


I used a couple of frozen small green chillies, hari mirch, which I bought from the local Indian grocery store.



Red Lentil (Dhal) Curry, Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free | www.fussfreecooking.com

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7 thoughts on “[Recipe] Red Lentil (Dhal) Curry, Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free

  1. This looks wonderful EmilY! I love lentils, it’s truly one of my favourite healthy food. I cook them often! This recipe sounds delicious, I can already imagine the smell through my kitchen! Yummy!

    • I can see why lentils are so popular with vegetarians because it is so delicious, filling as well as budget friendly. It is also one of my favourite things to cook at home too! 🙂

  2. Lovely looking dal Emily. A special mention to asafoetida (aka hing) as it is such an integral part of Indian cooking. I, especially can’t even imagine a ‘tempering’ without it. Once I had ran out of that last pinch of hing. I was so adamant that I stopped my cooking, bought some and then finished the dal right on time for lunch. 😀

    • Thanks Siri! I used to be afraid of using hing but after I was shown how to incorporate it in legumes type curries, I don’t think I can ever cook without it now too! lol

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