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Masoor dal, or stewed red lentils in bowls ready to be served!

Today we have one of our favorites to share with you, our Masoor Dal recipe, which is stewed red lentils. Can we talk lentils for a minute? I absolutely love them. I think they’re one of the few perfect foods out there. I love the texture and how you can pack them with loads of flavor.  I also love soups and stews, so it’s not really surprising that I would be into dal especially masoor dal, or stewed red lentils.

I love making giant batches of this recipe and eating it throughout the week. This is one of my favorite meal prep recipes. I can seriously eat this all week, either by itself or over some rice or even sopping it up with some pita.  This is really great for anytime of the year and is always so filling and satisfying.

What is Masoor Dal?

Masoor dal translates to red lentils and is a popular Indian dish of stewed red lentils, flavored with spices.

Are red lentils good for your health?

Yes! Red lentils are a great source of protein, potassium and fiber. They leave you feeling full throughout the day despite being low in calories.

Stewed red lentils in a pot after being cooked.

What is fenugreek?

Fenugreek is an herb typical to Indian dishes. Both the leaves and seeds can be used. It has a strong herbacious, slightly bitter and nutty flavor that is often described as a cross between celery and maple.

What can you substitute for fenugreek?

If you’re unable to find fenugreek, mustard greens or seeds are a good substitute. Fenugreek powder is also generally a component of curry powder and can also be used to enhance the flavor of a dish.

Can you freeze Masoor Dal?

Yes! You can freeze stewed red lentils. The best way to freeze it is completely cool the dal before transferring into airtight containers. When ready to use, transfer the frozen  dal into a pot along with 1/2 to 2 cups water or stock. Melt over medium-high heat and boil until completely heated through. Season as needed with salt and pepper. Serve.

This Masoor Dal recipe is also perfect if you’re looking to cook something with only a handful of simple and mostly easy to find ingredients. If you use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock it’s completely vegan too. If you love lentils as much as we do, we also have this delicious Vegan Lentil Soup Recipe. Enjoy! xx, Jenny

Stewed red lentils, or masoor dal reicpe in a bowl.

Masoor dal recipe, or stewed ren lentils. A vegetarian dish.

Masoor Dal (Stewed Red Lentils)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Servings: 6


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or ghee
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro


  • Pour oil or ghee into a dutch oven and place over medium-high heat.
  • Add sweet potatoes and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in onions, garlic, ginger, and Serrano chile and continue to sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in red lentils, cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, and fenugreek leaves and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until mixture becomes fragrant and slightly smoky in scent.
  • Add diced tomatoes and stock and bring mixture to a boil. Once mixture is boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until lentils have softened and mixture has turned into a stew-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper and stir in cilantro.
  • Top with more cilantro and serve with a side of grilled naan or steamed basmati rice.


Notes: If you'd like your masoor dal more (traditionally) soupy, add an additional 2 to 3 cups of stock to your pot. 
To Freeze and reheat: Completely cool dal before transferring into airtight containers. When ready to use, transfer the frozen  dal into a pot along with 1/2 to 2 cups water or stock. Melt over medium-high heat and boil until completely heated through. Season as needed with salt and pepper. Serve. 
Serving: 6g Calories: 219kcal Carbohydrates: 34g Protein: 10g Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 664mg Potassium: 625mg Fiber: 12g Sugar: 6g Vitamin A: 5855IU Vitamin C: 12mg Calcium: 72mg Iron: 4mg

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  1. The Travelling Chopsticks Not Specified Not Specified

    Its been ages since I have had Dal – but your pictures have got me craving it! I think this will be appearing on my weekly menu soon :)

  2. Nancie (Painted Palate) Not Specified Not Specified

    I, like you, love lentils. Curried lentils? Oh yes! I love that you included dried Fenugreek leaves – believe it or not, I always have them (and fenugreek seeds) on hand. Your local natural grocer (Sprouts, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, maybe Trader Joes) should have them. The Sprouts near me has them in bulk I can buy a small bag for about $.09. Great, timely recipe. I’m in Colorado and April is still a “snow hazard” month for us. Think I’ll make a pot of these this evening and work on it throughout the week. Thanks!

  3. Spring B. Not Specified Not Specified

    I love lentils, and now I know what I’m making for dinner tomorrow! Thanks for the delicious inspiration, as always. :)

  4. Ciao Florentina Not Specified Not Specified

    5 stars
    I love lentils, and with this weirdly cool weather in L.A. this was just the perfect idea!

  5. Jeri Not Specified Not Specified

    I always make a huge batch of dal. It freezes really well and there are lots of other things you can make with it. It’s a great base for veggie burgers or you can add some broth for a delicious soup or sauce over rice or noodles.

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  7. Nancie (Painted Palate) Not Specified Not Specified

    5 stars
    So, I have the lentils soaking to make this dish for the 3rd time since you posted it – SO delicious! This time, I’m chopping and adding a nice, big link of Andouille Sausage (’cause I have one leftover from the Jambalaya I made for a client a few days ago). This recipe makes me super happy!

  8. Mike! Not Specified Not Specified

    5 stars
    Thanks for making me this cheoje (yup, just looked that up)! Delicious for dinner last night, delicious in my lunchbox today and looking forward to eating in my lunch again tomorrow! definitely adding it to the rotation.

  9. geet Not Specified Not Specified

    5 stars
    Hey! thank you so much for sharing this.