20 Minute Masoor Dal

The wonderful thing about Indian food, apart from the gorgeous flavours and spices, is that it’s incredibly vegan friendly.

When in doubt, you can always count on Indian food to see you through your hunger pangs.

My mother knows a thing or two about cooking great curries, and one of the best recipes she taught me is her simply vegan Masoor Dal. This dish comes together so simply, in no time at all, and is packed with flavours thanks to the cumin, fennel, and mustard seeds.


Now a quick lesson on lentils:

Lentils are a legume that grow in pods, and are a great source of fiber. They come in different varieties like green, brown, and red. This recipe calls for red lentils, which are quick to cook, and absorb the flavours of the dish perfectly.

Nutritionally-speaking, lentils are a mighty legume, offering B vitamins, minerals, and a good hit of protein. They’re also low in fat, making them a suitable option for anyone monitoring their weight and blood sugar levels.


This Masoor Dal recipe is super inexpensive to make—living proof that eating healthful, vegan food is no pricier than dishes that include meat and dairy. While I keep mine fairly simple with just spices and lentils, you can absolutely add chopped veggies into the mix if you’re craving all the colours of the rainbow.


I could look at food snaps all day, so be sure to share your results on Insta with the hashtag #thehungrypiggy. Do you enjoy your curries with rice or naan? Let me know!

20 Minute Masoor Dal

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup masoor dal (red lentils)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 white onion (sliced)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic (grind into a paste)
  • 1 knob of ginger (grind into a paste)
  • 1 green chili (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • Coriander (to serve)


  1. Wash lentils and drain. Add into a pot with salt, turmeric, tomatoes, and water and cook until tender on medium heat (about 10 minutes).
  2. In another pot, heat 1/4 cup of oil. Add the mustard, fennel, and cumin seeds and heat until seeds have popped (this happens almost immediately.) Add onion and cook until softened. Add ginger and garlic paste plus the chili (if desired) and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add pot of spices to the lentil mixture. Simmer for a further two minutes then turn off the heat.
  4. Sprinkle garam masala on the top along with fresh coriander. Serve with rice.