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Sadia Hussain

Sep 13, 2019

Dry Masoor Daal Recipe

This tasty, dry masoor daal recipe is what you cook when simplicity is more than enough. Unlike the typical gravy- like daal, eaten with rice, this dry daal is enjoyed with soft roti.

I first ate this daal at my sister-in-law, Najma's, house and I loved it from the first bite. The time consuming part is soaking the masoor lentils which makes them easier to cook and digest. I would suggest soaking for an hour or longer if you have time. The tricky part is not to overcook the lentils or they will become mushy.

Like most of my recipes, you can tweak this. I've used mild, simple ingredients but you can make it with whole spices like cumin and red chili, tomatoes, curry leaves and a splash of lemon juice.

Dry Masoor Daal Recipe

Sadia Hussain




30 Minutes


  • 1 cup orange masoor lentils, washed and soaked for an hour or more

  • Cooking oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder (optional)

  • 1/2 cup water (more as needed)

  • A handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped


  1. In a flat pan, heat oil and sauté onions until soft and translucent.

  2. Add garlic paste, ginger paste and sauté for a  few minutes.

  3. Add turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder, coriander and cumin powders (optional).

  4. Add lentils and 1/2 cup water, cover and simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes.

  5. Mix gently so the lentils do not break up.

  6. You may need a little more water to cook the lentils until soft but still whole.

  7. Add fresh coriander and serve warm.

Tips and Bits

I make this in a nonstick skillet to prevent sticking.

Roast and grind coriander and cumin seeds to a powder. Store in airtight containers.

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