Lahori Dal (Pakistani Red Lentil Dal)

Dal is a staple in Southeast Asia. Whether it is eaten with rice or chapati it is usually a part of the meal. The lentils available are cooked in a whole lot of different ways. This is one such preparation.

This dal preparation is very interesting. Usually dal along with onion and other spices is cooked in a pan. The tempering oil and spices are added to the simmering dal. In this recipe the dal is simmered in a pan with spices. The onion is added to the tempering oil and poured over the top. The addition of cream (I used cashew cream) give the dal a delicious rich flavor.

Recipe adapted from here
You will need
1 cup lal masoor dal (red lentils)
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. oil
3 tbsp. cashew cream (soak 5 cashews in water for 30 minutes and grind to paste)
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/4 cup onion, diced
salt to taste
lemon juice to garnish

Soak dal for an hour. Drain and discard the water. Add 2 cups water and pressure cook the dal until it is tender. In my pressure cooker that is 5 -7 minutes on high heat with whistle. In pressure cookers that whistle that would be 2 whistles. Let the pressure subside. Mash the cooked dal with the back of a spoon.

Pour the dal in a pan and bring it to a boil stirring frequently to ensure it does not stick to the bottom. Lower heat and let it simmer. Add the turmeric power, paprika, garlic, half the oil and cashew cream. Continue to let it simmer and thicken on low heat.

Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a separate pan and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle add the onion and saute until tender and begins to turn color. Add the onion mixture to the simmering dal. Season with salt and turn off heat.

Add the juice of half a lemon when you are ready to eat. Tastes best hot.


  1. looks so comforting..and a simple recipe

  2. Love the color of the dal. Comforting dal.

  3. The masoor daal is extensively used in Pakistan or even in India by the Muslim is so light and tastes very similar to pigeon pea..nicely prepared.

  4. must be so rich with the butter and cream

  5. Absolute comfort food in a bowl! Lovely color!!


Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

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