spicy red lentil dal in bowl

This easy spicy red lentil dal is prepared with tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger and a combination of Indian spices like turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, cumin and cayenne.



Place lentils, liquid, and dry spices in a large pot, cover, and bring to boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, not mushy.

Meanwhile, saute onions, ginger & garlic in oil over moderate heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir-fry 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

When lentils are tender, stir in onions and tomato mixture, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Serve over arugula, brown rice, vegan naan bread or as is with some of your favorite bread.


I happen to love this with fresh greens, it adds so much freshness to the dish. Even if you serve this with a grain, fresh arugula or cilantro will do wonders.

If you happen to not have a spice or two you will still have a flavorful dish. Adjust ingredients to suit your taste.

Not a fan of spicy, feel free to omit the cayenne. It will still be delish!

I would really stick with red lentils, but you prefer green or brown lentils, cook about 45 minutes, or until tender.

If two medium onions are too much onion for you, one will do fine.