Masoor Dal Tadka – Red Lentil Soup. Vegan Gluten-free Recipe


Mom and Dad eat Indian food 99% of the time. Dad doesnt eat out much and Mom being the more adventurous one, keeps changing up some thing or the other in the usual Dal to keep it interesting. Dal refers to any Indian preparation of Lentil/Beans/Legumes. She made a couple of Dals when she was visiting and each tasted totally different even when made with the same lentils and the same tempering ingredients.

Apart from changing up the spices and using different whole seeds or powdered roasted seeds, or spice blends, the taste of the dal also changes with how you chop the garlic or ginger. It depends on if you use garlic chopped, minced or sliced, size of the chop or slice, and how long you cook it. It depends on when you add the tempering, at the beginning while cooking the lentils or beans or at the end when the lentils are cooked. 
This Dal Tadka is another creation inspired by Mom and super easy to whip up. You can also use any quick cooking lentils like split mung bean, split pea etc. 

Mom likes thinner consistency Dals like this Mung Dal Tadka with garlic and chili. I use a bit less water for a thicker daal. You get to eat more lentils in the same size bowl with thicker stew, more protein!:) You can serve it with flatbreads or rice/quinoa/millet or any way you like. 

Served below with Roti flatbread(I know I need to take pictures and post about Rotis/Chapatis from scratch), Garlicky Cabbage, Onion cherry tomato carrot Salad. Yum.

Me: I dont know what to do. should I do MOFO this year?
Hubbs: I dont know. Its your call.
Me: What do you think I am going to do.
Hubbs: You are eventually going to sign up. You like being over busy.
Me: Yeah right. Who has been working till 9 since the past few years and getting results for that extra work.? You work way too much. 
Hubbs: rolls eyes.

So I finally signed up for Vegan MOFO! It is going to be an Open theme this year to keep it less stressful. Some everyday awesome recipes, and hopefully I will have a segment every Wednesday to answer some Questions.. 
Where do I get my protein! (looky at the lentils above)
All Vegans are mean, angry, yelling machines.. You bet.. we are, or are we? 
Keep your eyes peeled for awesome food and conversations!
If you have any nagging questions you would like me to answer to know how I think, leave them in the comments!

In other awesome news, there will soon be a new online Vegan Food Magazine on the interwebz. And guess who blabs and shares some of her recipes in the first issue! Hint: Scroll down on the magazine page.. Sign up for the launch this October!

Lots more Dals, Lentils, Beans Stews here. 


Wash the pink lentils. Cook with 1.5 cups water util tender. 

Prepare the Tadka/Tempering. Heat oil on medium heat. Add cumins seeds.

Once the cumin seeds get fragrant, add sliced garlic, and finely chopped chili.

Once the garlic gets golden brown, add onion and cook until golden.

Add the hot tempering and garam masala to the cooked lentils. 

Mix well, serve hot topped with cilantro. 

Masoor Dal Tadka – Pink Lentil Stew

By: Richa Hingle

Recipe Type: Main
This is a simple Dal Tadka. Pink/Red lentils tempered with cumin, sliced garlic and chili.
Cooking Time: h, 20m
Yield: Serves 2

Allergy Information: Free of Dairy, egg, corn, soy, grain, gluten, nut, yeast
For the Lentils:
1/2 cup dry Pink/red/orange Lentils (Masoor Dal. Split and skinned Indian Brown lentils) 1.5 cups water, 2 cups for thinner consistency
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/3-1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Tadka/Tempering:
2 teaspoons Oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 Serrano chili pepper finely chopped or to taste
3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
3-4 Tablespoons of chopped red onion
a generous dash of garam masala/curry powder or berbere spice blend

For the Lentils:
Wash the lentils and drain. In a deep pan, add lentils, 1.5 cups of water, salt and turmeric and cook on low-medium heat, partially covered, until tender. 15-20 minutes.
For the Tempering/Tadka:
In a small pan, add oil and heat on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook for a few seconds until they change color and get fragrant. Add the garlic and chili and cook until garlic is golden brown. Add the onion and cook until the translucent. Add the hot Tempering to the cooked lentils. Add a dash or garam masala or berbere and mix. Taste and adjust salt and spice. Serve hot.

Dal Tadka

This Dal is being shared at Ricki’s Wellness weekend, slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays

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  1. Anonymous says

    this looks good and easy enough for a beginner. the lentils i have are organic (beige) laired lentils though – would it work as well in this dish?

  2. says

    i love the color of this dal. another on my must try list 😉

    congratulations on doing mofo again this year. i can’t wait to see what you come up with 😉 and i’m especially excited for your question answering segment 😉

  3. says

    This looks amazing, Richa! I love dal…. I’ve had some Indian cooking lessons over the years from Indian friends and I felt happy that I learned some basic spicing and a few things to make. But now… it will taste different by cutting the garlic in different ways, and y when I add it all? I had no idea! Now I know how little I really know :-) Yes, please do some posts about roti and chapati – that would be great!

    • says

      I dont know so much about Indian cooking myself:) There are so many regional cooking styles and recipes that I have never tried.
      Yes, if I can catch hold of hubbs one of these days I can do a roti Chapati post!

  4. says

    Mmmmm, lentil stews! I would love to try some! How funny, actually, my Dad is the opposite. My mom loves to cook and my dad loves eating out because it’s easier and just that everything’s just there for him to eat 😉 Oh yum, I would love to have that Dal with some garlicky rice or quinoa :) sounds like a delicious meal! Hehe, I would love to see your pictures/post about Rotis/Capatis from scratch! Yay for signing up for vegan Mofo!

  5. says

    These look delicious!!! I’m always looking for more lentil recipes since they’re so healthy and yummy so I’m going to make this very soon. Also very exciting to see you’ll be featured in a vegan magazine – congrats and I’ll be checking it out for sure!

  6. says

    So quick, easy and delicious! Glad I found you on Pinterest. Now the big question is, do I try the tomato focaccia bread or maybe the billionaire bars 😉

    Thank you for making my first dal such a success!


  7. J Wood says

    OMG! I just made this Pink Lentil Dal. It is amazing! It is just what I was looking for. (I may have added extra amounts of spice.)

  8. moomoo says

    Just made a double batch and it was so delicious! Definitely one to make again and next time we will make a triple or quadruple batch. :-) Husband said, “I *love* this soup!” It was very easy to make and I was able to do other kitchen tasks as it cooked.

    I used home-pickled cayenne peppers due to winter availability, berebere, and just a little more of every spice than recommended as we love spices. Also added a little black seed and a tiny bit of fresh ginger I needed to use. Thank you thank you thank you — cannot wait to make again.

  9. Holly says

    Delicious, healthy comfort food that was quick and easy!
    I added some extra veggies from the kitchen – cauliflower, sweet potato, carrot, and kale – so good!

  10. Tamar says

    I just made this, and i wish i’d doubled the quantities! I love the way your recipes are so precise, and turn out perfect! Thanks!


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