Weeknight Red Lentil Veggie Dal - Cook Republic


  • Author: Sneh
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Mains
  • Cuisine: Indian, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • ½ long green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) red lentils, washed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 1 cup (120g) cauliflower florets
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
  • Extra chilli slices, to garnish


  1. Heat oil on high in a heavy bottomed cooking pot (saucepan or stock pot).
  2. Add cumin seeds, nigella seeds, bay leaf, garlic, shallots and chilli. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until shallots start to glaze.
  3. Add carrot and lentils. Reduce heat to medium and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until lentils are glazed. Add turmeric, garam masala and cumin. Sauté for a few seconds until the spices are fragrant.
  4. Add water and salt. Mix well. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil (approximately 2-3 minutes). Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for 15 minutes until the lentils are almost cooked. Add cauliflower and tomato. Mix well. Check to see if more water is required and add half a cup if necessary.
  5. Cook for 10-12 minutes until cauliflower is al dente.
  6. Remove from heat. Check for seasoning. Garnish with coriander and chilli. Serve hot with steamed rice or rotis.


If wanting to make daal more decadent for a dinner party, swap olive oil for ghee and drizzle extra tablespoon of warm ghee before serving.

For extra flavour, instead of cooking the cauliflower with the dal; roast cauliflower in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 190C and then just add it prior to serving the dal.

This recipe has just the right amount of heat, you  will barely notice it. But if you love things to be spicy, try adding another teaspoon of garam masala or half a teaspoon of red chilli powder.

Daal freezes really well. I portion and freeze it for upto two months. Can be thawed straight in the microwave.

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