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Red Lentil Dahl

  • Cooking time
  • Prep time
  • Portions 4
recipe image Red Lentil Dahl


  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and soaked (at least 4 hours or overnight)
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots (about 1 small carrot)
  • 3/4 cup diced celery (about 1 large stalk)
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 2 tablespoons diced fresh ginger
  • 1 small Thai chili, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons Country Crock® Plant Butter with Avocado Oil Stick
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach

Dry Spice Blend:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 4 to 5 bay leaves,fresh or dried

Options to garnish:

  • 2 to 3 cups cooked basmati rice
  • ripe avocado,cut into chunks
  • Plain coconut yogurt,a dollop
  • Freshly chopped cilantro, a sprinkling
  • fresh lime slice, to squeeze
  • toasted bread or pita, to dip
Energy (kcal)1097 kcal
Energy (kJ)4587 kJ
Protein (g)49.1 g
Carbohydrate incl. fibre (g)195.2 g
Carbohydrate excl. fibre (g)172.2 g
Sugar (g)15.7 g
Fibre (g)22.9 g
Fat (g)15.4 g
Saturated fat (g)2.7 g
Unsaturated fat (g)11.1 g
Monounsaturated fat (g)5.9 g
Polyunsaturated fat (g)5.2 g
Trans fat (g)0.0 g
Cholesterol (mg)0 mg
Sodium (mg)2051 mg
Salt (g)5.12 g
Vitamin A (IU)4123 IU
Vitamin C (mg)24.9 mg
Calcium (mg)652 mg
Iron (mg)18.29 mg
Potassium (mg)1444 mg


  1. In a large bowl, rinse and soak your red lentils for around 4 hours or overnight. Be sure to cover the lentils with enough water as they are going to soak up quite a bit. Once soaked, drain and rinse thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. For this recipe, it is best to have everything prepped in bowls before you start to cook. Mix together the spice blend and chop all ingredients and have them ready to go. You don't want to be scrambling looking for spices once you start cooking.
  3. In a large pot, add plant butter and bring to medium heat until melted and bubbling. Add carrots, onions, celery, ginger, and chili. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper to season. Let cook down for 10 minutes, stirring every so often.
  4. After the veggies have cooked down, add the spice blend and toast the spices and veggies over medium heat, mixing thoroughly. Add a splash of water to help the bottom from sticking and the garlic. Cook for a few more minutes, until the mixture smells outrageously fragrant.
  5. Add the lentils, water, cherry tomatoes, tamari, yellow mustard, garlic powder, and salt to taste. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a simmer with a cracked lid. Cook down for about 30 minutes, stirring every so often, until the tomatoes become super tender
  6. When ready to serve, add the spinach and mix well. Once the leaves become wilted, give the dahl a taste. At this point, you can add more cayenne if you like it to be spicer. Ladle over rice and garnish with coconut yogurt and chopped cilantro. Seve with a piece of toasted bread or pita and a slice of lime
Recipe by Timothy Pakron @mississippivegan

If you don't have a Thai chili, you could use a jalapeno.

If you'd like to use another green like kale, arugula, or swiss chard, those would work beautifully!

If you don't have access to coconut yogurt, you could use another plant-based option. Just make sure it is plain in flavor. You could also use a drizzle of coconut milk or coconut cream.

You don't absolutely have to soak the red lentils but from what I have read, if you soak them and drain the water, it helps to remove some of the phytic acid which makes them easier to digest. Doing so reduces the cooking time, as well!

When peeling the ginger, you don't have to get every last bit of the skin off. I honestly find that it doesn't affect the taste. You can use a spoon to scrape off as much as you can and then chop. Or you can opt to use a microplane if you have one.