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Dal lasooni( Indian garlic lentils) is a creamy lentil curry-style dal with a whole lot of complex flavor from whole spices and garlic. It needs 1 Pan! Use lentils of choice, beans or chickpeas for variation.

dal lasooni in the pan with cilantro and a swirl of cream
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There are many many ways to make dals. Some are simple with a few spices or aromatics, while others are more complex flavored and creamy. This restaurant style dal Lasooni(garlic dal) has loads of garlic and a whole spices to add amazing deep flavor.  As with any whole spices in curry, the flavor gets much more complex and stronger as the dish sits with the whole spices in it. So you want to make the dal ahead and use whatever spices you have.

If you don’t have all of the spices, it will still turn out amazingly delicious. 

I use brown lentils in this dal lasooni, and you can also use green lentils, green mung beans, red lentils, chickpeas, whole urad, cooked white beans or any other cooked beans that you like!

bowl of lasooni dal over rice with cilantro and a swirl of cream

Why You’ll Love Dal Lasooni

  • creamy, protein-packed dish with an amazing Indian flavor
  • naturally gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free
  • one-pan dish

More Vegan Lentil Recipes

Dal Lasooni

5 from 16 votes
By: Vegan Richa
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Dal lasooni (Indian garlic lentils) is a creamy lentil curry-style dal with a whole lot of complex flavor from whole spices and garlic. It needs 1 Pan! Use lentils of choice, beans or chickpeas for variation.
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Ingredients 
 

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2" cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom pod, opened up slightly or use a green cardamom pod
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces tomato puree, (canned)
  • 1/4 cup nondairy yogurt, or non-dairy cream
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or Indian red chili powder, optional
  • 15 ounce can lentils, or 1 1/2 cups of cooked brown lentils, green lentils, mung beans, chickpeas, or white beans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 cup or more water or non Dairy milk
  • cilantro and lemon juice, for garnish

Instructions 

  • Heat a skillet over medium high heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and cook until the cumin seeds are very fragrant and have darkened in color significantly, about 2 minutes. Then add the bay leaves, cloves. cinnamon stick, and black cardamom and mix. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the bay leaves change color. This takes just a few seconds.
  • Add the garlic and mix in for a few seconds, then cook until the garlic is starting to turn golden on some of the edges. Then Add the onion and salt and mix in and continue to cook until the onion is translucent. Mix in the tomato puree, non-dairy yogurt, and all of the remaining spices and bring that mixture to a good boil.
  • Add the lentils, salt, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or nondairy milk for preferred consistency. Mix, then close the lid and let it simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, then switch off the heat.
  • Taste and adjust salt and flavor, garnish with chopped cilantro and some lemon juice or lemon wedges for garnish. drizzle some nondairy cream over the top before serving. Fish out the whole spices(bay leaves, cardamom pod , cloves) just before serving(optional to preference).

Video

Notes

If making this with chickpeas, white beans, or other, heartier beans, you can add a bit more tomato puree and more of the yogurt for more of the sauce.
This recipe is gluten free.
It is also nut-free as long as you use a nut-free nondairy cream or yogurt.
It’s soy-free if you use a soy-free nondairy cream or yogurt.
To make this oil-free, toast all the whole spices on a dry skillet, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of broth, and then add the garlic and continue. Keep adding broth to the pan as needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Sodium: 302mg, Potassium: 529mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 145IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 80mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!
lentils, onion, garlic, and seasonings in bowls on a kitchen counter

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • oil – To toast the spices and sauté. You can toast the spices in a dry skillet instead and use broth to sauté the aromatics, if you want to make this without oil.
  • whole spices – Toasted cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom give this dal lasooni an incredible flavor!
  • aromatics – Garlic and onion add the next layer of flavor to this dal.
  • tomato puree – For the sauce. It adds umami and a little touch of sweetness.
  • non-dairy yogurt – Makes the sauce so creamy! You can use thick, non-dairy cream, like cashew cream, instead, if needed.
  • dried spices – The next layer of flavor comes from garam masala, white pepper, and cayenne pepper or Indian red chili powder. You can omit the cayenne/chili powder, if needed.
  • lentils – Canned, cooked brown lentils make this dal come together lightning fast! You can use 1 1/2 cups cooked beans of choice instead of lentils, if you like.
  • garnishes – Cilantro and lemon juice bring brightness and zest to the finished lasooni dal. You can also add a swirl of non-dairy cream, if you want it even creamier.

Tips

  • Stir the whole spices frequently, so they don’t burn, especially the bay leaves. These toast in just a few seconds, so make sure not to let them burn!
  • Pretty much any cooked beans will work in this dal. If you use heartier beans, like chickpeas or white beans, add some extra tomato puree and yogurt to make it saucier.

How to Make Lasooni Dal

Heat a skillet over medium high heat, add the oil, and then add the cumin seeds and cook until the cumin seeds are very fragrant and have darkened in color significantly, about two minutes.

Then add the bay leaves, cloves. cinnamon stick, and black cardamom and mix. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the bay leaves change color. This takes just a few seconds. 

Add the garlic and mix in for a few seconds, cook until the garlic is starting to turn golden on some of the edges.

adding garlic to the pan of toasted whole spices

Add the onion and salt and mix in and continue to cook until the onion is translucent. (Yes, garlic goes before onion!)

adding onion to the pan of roasted garlic and spices

Mix in the tomato puree, non-dairy yogurt, and all of the remaining spices and bring that mixture to a good boil. 

onions, after cooking them down
adding tomato paste and non-dairy yogurt to the pan of aromatics and spices
mixing the sauce together in the pan

Add the lentils, salt, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or nondairy milk for some extra sauce.

adding the lentils to the pan

Mix, then close the lid and let it simmer for three to four minutes, then switch off the heat.

lentils, after cooking them down

Taste and adjust salt and flavor and serve. You can add some chopped cilantro and some lemon juice or even veggies for garnish. You can also drizzle some nondairy cream over the top before serving. 

bowl of lasooni dal over rice with cilantro and a swirl of cream

Frequently Asked Questions

Is lasooni dal allergy-friendly?

This recipe is gluten free. It is also nut-free as long as you use a nut-free nondairy cream or yogurt. It’s soy-free if you use a soy-free nondairy cream or yogurt. 

Can I make this without oil?

To make this oil-free, toast all the whole spices on a dry skillet, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of broth, and then add the garlic and continue. Keep adding broth to the pan as needed.

What is dal?

Dal (dhal, daal) is an entree or side made with lentils or beans simmered with plenty of spices. There are countless ways to prepare dal, depending on region and even household!

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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32 Comments

  1. Maïla says:

    5 stars
    Wow! So yummy! We made a thali dinner tonight with friends. I had made Dal Dhansak, Saag Aloo, Dhaba Chicken White Beans, Dal Lasooni (my favorite), rice and Kachumber Salad and it was so delicious! All recipes were from you because we know all of you creations are perfect.
    Our dinner was a big success, thank you!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      That’s awesome! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Mercedes says:

    I dont have whole cloves or cardamom. How much of the powdered spice should I use?

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      1/8 tsp ground clove and 1/2 tsp ground cardamom. Add later with ground spices or after onion is golden.

  3. Jessica Minson says:

    5 stars
    Lovely easy and quick recipe but with big reward! This was very tasty and I’ll definitely be making it again soon.

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      So glad you liked it!

  4. Geeta says:

    5 stars
    Amazing and easy to make

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Awesome!

  5. Shelley says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. Garlicky heaven!!!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Yay!!

  6. Katie says:

    5 stars
    Delicious and so easy to make, this is a Top 5 Favourite Recipe of all time for me. Love it with the lentils and can’t wait to try it with different beans too!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      yay! thank you!