Split Petite Crimson Lentils are the foundation of many Dal recipes. This recipe, finished with hot oil or ghee, is flavored with lightly toasted whole and ground spices that are poured into the dal just prior to serving.

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 30 min

Total time: 35 min

Masoor Dal Tarka
Copyright Recipe © 2015 Woodland Foods


Makes 4 servings


  1. Combine lentils and stock in large pot, and bring to a boil. Add ginger and turmeric, reduce heat to low and cover, leaving lid slightly askew. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.

  2. During final 10 minutes of lentils’ cooking time, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee in medium skillet. Add onions, and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic, and cook for 2 more minutes.

  3. Transfer mixture to lentil pan using slotted spoon and leave oil in skillet. Season with salt.

  4. Add remaining oil or ghee to skillet over medium heat. When hot, add Garam Masala, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and dried chiles. Cook for 10 seconds, stirring constantly.

  5. Pour spice mixture into lentils and stir. Cover, and let simmer 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Check seasoning and adjust with salt, if necessary.

  6. Serve with steamed basmati rice.