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Sadia Hussain

Oct 30, 2018

Black Daal Recipe

My mom made tangy daal and other lentil dishes when I was growing up, but this daal was not one of them. Many years ago, I added this to my daal rotation, and it's become a hot favorite in my house.

This dish is made with whole masoor lentils and takes some time to cook, unless you have a pressure cooker...which I do not. Once you take a bite of this rich, spicy, earthy daal I'm sure you will agree with me that it is worth all the time and effort.

I make a big pot and freeze half in portions for days when I don't have anything cooked or just don't feel like cooking. It lasts in the fridge, tightly covered for up to 4 days so you can enjoy it for a few meals with rice or roti.

Black Daal Recipe

Sadia Hussain




2 Hours


  • 2 cups whole masoor lentils, washed and soaked in hot water for 1 hour

  • Cooking oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tomato, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste

  • 6 cups water or more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder

For the Tempering

  • Cooking oil

  • 5 dried red chilies

  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds


  1. In a large pot, heat oil and sauté onions until soft and translucent.

  2. Add tomatoes and sauté until soft.

  3. Add garlic paste, ginger paste, turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder and cook on medium heat for a few minutes.

  4. Add soaked lentils and 6 cups of water.

  5. Let the mixture come to a boil and then lower the heat, cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour. Lentils should be very soft so you may need longer cooking time.

  6. If daal is too thick, add water.

  7. Press the lentils with cooking spoon on the side of the pot to mash up some of the lentils as you stir.

  8. If the daal has too much water, turn the heat up and let it boil.

  9. Once you have the desired consistency, add coriander powder.

  10. In a small frypan, heat oil. Add red chilies, garlic and cumin seeds.

  11. Fry on low heat until garlic is light brown.

  12. Pour on top of daal.

Tips and Bits

If you have a pressure cooker, you can soak this daal and proceed cooking.

You can also add finely sliced onions to the oil for tempering and fry until golden brown.

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