Masoor Dal With Curry Leaves: An Evergreen Lentil Curry
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The delight of coming back to the simple and humble traditional platter of chawal dal after trying a world of new dishes is just unparalleled. Masoor dal or red lentils are a staple and preferred lentil when it comes to undoubtedly comforting taste. And Masoor Dal With Curry Leaves is just an ideal blend of rustic flavours and good taste.  

This dish incorporates curry leaves at the very last point for that intense appetite-stirring aroma and tropical flavour. The interesting part? Onions do not go into this recipe and only salt and turmeric are used as spices. So the savouriness comes from mustard seeds and red chilli-flavoured mushy tomato curry.

Masoor dal is a staple lentil and comfort food, because of its awesome health benefits besides ease of cooking it. For instance, a cup of masoor dal fulfils your daily need for 17 grams of protein and 15 gms of dietary fibre and a total of 230 calories.  It's a great option for those seeking to reduce weight with adequate nutrients as masoor dal is also rich in carbohydrates and low in fat.

Besides, the red lentil slows down the rate of digestion and prevents the unexpected rise in blood sugar levels because of a low glycaemic index. Along with these health benefits, red lentils are easy on the pocket too and can be pressure cooked instantly without soaking. A variety of dishes are made with these tiny pink shreds of lentils all over the country besides the basic Dal Fry. These include Masoor Dal Pakoda, Dal and Tomato soup, Masoor Dal and Palak Khichdi.

Preparation time: 35-40 mins

Cooking time: 25 mins

Servings: 2-3


  • 100 gms masoor dal
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 gms curry leaves
  • 2 gms turmeric powder
  • Chilli powder
  • Tomatoes
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies


  • Wash the lentils thoroughly and pressure cook them up to 3 whistles in ½ litre water once cooked, beat them until uniform.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add dried red chillies and saute a bit and add mustard seeds and allow them to sputter.
  • Then add the diced tomatoes and saute for a couple of minutes
  • Add salt and turmeric and cook until tomatoes turn soft for about 8 mins on low flame.
  • Then, add the cooked dal to the pan and stir it well so that everything gets combined nicely.
  • Allow it to cook, until dal comes to a boil. At this point add sugar and curry leaves.
  • Let it simmer and cook until dal thickens slightly for about 6 mins.
  • Serve with rice or chapatis.

Points to remember:

  • The sugar added at the end of the preparation of dal gives it a sweeter taste, in combination with strong spicy and little salty flavours. 
  • You can skip the sugar, if you want. 
  • The lightly-cooked tomatoes make the dal thick and savoury. 
  • A few curry leaves can be added at the beginning of the recipe as well with the mustard seeds to bring an intense flavour.