7 Delicious Daal Recipes for a Heartwarming Meal

As one of the staple foods in South Asia, there are many tasty daal recipes that will create a heartwarming meal. Here are seven to try out.

7 delicious Daal Recipes for a Heartwarming Meal f

It originated in the Indian state of Punjab and is a staple dish there.

Daal is a staple within Indian cuisine so it is no surprise that there are various daal recipes out there to please the tastebuds.

Also spelt dal or dhal, they are one of the most versatile, healthy and filling meals you can create.

Its versatility is the main reason why it is so popular in South Asian countries like India. Most of the population is vegetarian and the plethora of daal dishes is why they opt for them.

While there are meat dishes which use lentils, the vegetarian ones are regarded as classic Indian dishes.

Lentils are combined into a thick, hot stew and served alongside roti and rice. However, there are also daal recipes which are dry to fully showcase the lentil.

This hearty dish has also had a long history filling stomachs. It is said that daal dates back to around 303 BC.

With different types of lentil, an array of dishes can be made which offer different flavours. Here are seven step-by-step guides to follow.

Daal Makhani

7 delicious Daal Recipes for a Heartwarming Meal - makhani

Daal makhani is renowned for having a creamy consistency and rich texture. This is because it is cooked with butter and sometimes finished with some cream.

It originated in the Indian state of Punjab and is a staple dish there. It is a versatile dish as it can be served as a side dish or as a delicious main meal.

This vegetarian option is great alongside roti but it also pairs well with rice.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup whole black lentils
  • ¼ cup red kidney beans
  • 3½ cups water
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Masala

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 Onion, finely grated
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 60ml cream
  • Salt, to taste

Method

  1. Thoroughly wash and rinse the lentils and kidney beans. Soak in three cups of water overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, drain and transfer to a pot over a stove. Pour in the water and cook for one hour and 15 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Mash some of the lentils and kidney beans before reducing the heat and letting it simmer.
  4. In a large pot, heat two tablespoons of butter and ghee. When the butter has melted, add the onion and cook until golden brown.
  5. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook until the raw smell goes away. Add the tomato puree and cook it has fully incorporated into the masala.
  6. Mix in the daal the add the garam masala, red chilli powder and salt.
  7. Pour in half a cup of water and stir. Let it simmer on low heat for 45 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking and add water if necessary.
  8. Sprinkle in the sugar and mix well. Add the remaining butter and quarter cup of cream.
  9. Simmer for 10 minutes then add the remaining cream. Serve with roti and rice.

This recipe was adapted from Cook with Manali.

Daal Fry

7 delicious Daal Recipes for a Heartwarming Meal - fry

Daal fry is a dish which features a more intense array of flavours as opposed to the creamy, mild ones usually associated with daal.

This daal recipe features onions and tomatoes which are cooked with various spices.

The lentils are added along with the water it has been boiled in to create a wonderful sauce.

It is the sauce which carries all the flavour which is why this dish is perfect with rice as it absorbs the sauce and all its flavour.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup split pigeon peas
  • Water

For the Daal Fry

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 Green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves, slightly crushed
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • A few coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method

  1. Wash the lentils under running water until the water runs clear. Place into a pot and fill with water until just covered. Boil until the lentils become soft then set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add the onions and cook until they soften.
  3. Add the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Cook until the raw smell of garlic goes away.
  4. Add the tomatoes and mix well. Cook until the tomatoes become soft.
  5. Add the red chilli, coriander powder, cumin, turmeric, garam masala and fenugreek leaves. Mix well and cook for one minute.
  6. Pour in the daal and one cup of water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer for five minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and garnish with coriander. Squeeze in some lemon juice and mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl alongside rice.

This recipe was inspired by Spice up the Curry.

Chana Daal

7 delicious Daal Recipes for a Heartwarming Meal - chana

Chana daal is a delicious vegetarian recipe that is healthy and packed with protein.

Like tarka daal, it uses split chickpeas but while that has a mild flavour, chana daal has more of a nutty flavour.

Cumin seeds are roasted and tempered in order to achieve the flavour. This is one of several daal recipes which use tempering as a method of cooking.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup split chickpeas
  • 500ml water
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½-inch ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering

  • ½ tsp oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

Method

  1. Soak the daal for at least one hour. Drain and combine with two cups of water in a saucepan. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, blend the tomato, garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric, paprika and cayenne with half a cup of water until it becomes smooth.
  3. Mix the tomato mixture into the lentils. Season with salt then cover and cook for 15 minutes. Mash some of the lentils.
  4. Make the tempering by heating the oil in a small frying pan. When hot, add the cumin seeds and fry until they change colour.
  5. Add the asafoetida. When it sizzles, add the garam masala and cayenne. Gently add half of the tempering into the daal and mix.
  6. Remove the tempering from the heat and mix in the coriander. Pour the remaining tempering into the daal and serve.

This recipe was inspired by Vegan Richa.

Tarka Daal

7 delicious Daal Recipes for a Heartwarming Meal - tarka

Tarka daal is a popular Indian vegetarian curry that is simple to make. Its mild flavours and creamy texture is what makes it so enjoyable.

The word tarka refers to the few ingredients that are used. They are fried up and stirred in at the end.

Ingredients like garlic and ginger give it unique flavour combinations to create a hearty meal.

Ingredients

  • 100g split chickpeas
  • 50g red lentils
  • 3 Garlic cloves, grated
  • 10g ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Whole dried chillies
  • 1 Small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • A handful of coriander leaves, chopped

Method

  1. Wash the lentils and chickpeas then place into a saucepan filled with one litre of water. Bring to a boil, removing any impurities. Add the turmeric, garlic, ginger and salt. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter. Add the whole dried chillies and cumin seeds. When they have browned, add the onion and cook until golden.
  3. Pour some of the lentils into the pan and scrape the base to extract all the flavours then pour everything back into the lentils.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes, mashing some of the lentils. Add a little water if it becomes too thick.
  5. Remove from the heat, garnish with chopped coriander and serve.

This recipe was adapted from Red Online.

Masoor Daal

7 delicious Daal Recipes for a Heartwarming Meal - masoor

Masoor daal is a popular choice in the Indian subcontinent when it comes to daal recipes.

It is red in colour and is quite soft, meaning that it does not need prior soaking. The quick cooking time means it is an ideal meal.

This particular recipe has quite a rich sauce but it is filled with flavour and the lentils throughout means that the dish has a nice texture to it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry red lentils, rinsed
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 6 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 Green chillies, minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • A small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped

Method

  1. In a large pot, combine the lentils and water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer. Skim off any impurities. Partially cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small frying pan and add the onion, garlic, ginger, chillies and salt. Fry for five minutes or until soft.
  3. Add the spices and mix well. Add the tomatoes and cook for seven minutes or until the tomatoes have softened.
  4. Mix into the cooked lentils and simmer for five minutes. Garnish with coriander and serve.

This recipe was inspired by The Curious Chickpea.

Dry Moong Daal

7 delicious Daal Recipes for a Heartwarming Meal - moong

Moong daal is one of the most well-known types of lentil thanks to its vibrant yellow colour. It is also one which is able to maintain its shape after boiling.

While moong daal dishes are usually soupy, this particular recipe is dry.

This ensures that the lentils are showcased to the max and there is a depth of texture.

This recipe features intense flavours especially because it is dry, so all the flavour goes into the lentils as opposed to the soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup split yellow gram lentils
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 Green chilli, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Coriander leaves, chopped

Method

  1. Wash the lentils and set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep pan and add the chilli powder, turmeric and salt.
  2. Add the lentils and mix well. Pour in enough water to cover the daal then lower the heat and cover. Cook until the water has evaporated.
  3. Once done, take off the lid and increase the heat. Stir in the garam masala.
  4. Mix until the daal has completely dried. Once done, turn off the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
  5. Garnish with green chillies and coriander. Spoon on the lemon juice and serve.

This recipe was inspired by Archana’s Kitchen.

Daal Bukhara

7 delicious Daal Recipes for a Heartwarming Meal - bukhara

Daal is usually cooked in a creamy gravy, but daal bukhara is simmered in a tomato-based gravy instead.

Therefore, the flavour is more intense and has a slight acidity to it. But, spices like chillies and cinnamon add more layers of flavour.

It uses a black lentil (urad daal) and the dish is slow cooked to achieve a velvety smooth consistency.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black lentils
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 8 Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ cup cream
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. In a pot, soak the lentils for at least two hours. Once done, place into a pot along with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until soft. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a pan with oil and add the cumin seeds and cinnamon. When they sizzle, add the onions and fry until soft. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for one minute.
  3. Place the tomatoes into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into the pan.
  4. Add the chilli powder, turmeric, cumin and salt. Gently add the lentils and pour in half a litre of water. Reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer for one hour. Stir every 10 minutes to prevent burning.
  5. After an hour, add the cream and butter. Simmer for one minute then remove from the heat. Serve alongside roti.

This recipe was inspired by Kannamma Cooks.

When it comes to delicious vegetarian dishes these daal recipes live up as they boast an array of flavours and are filling.

While some have more intense flavours than others, these daal recipes showcase the variety of lentils and how versatile they are.

They also show a simple preparation process. So for those who want a heartwarming meal, give these a try.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

Images courtesy of Archana's Kitchen, The Curious Chickpea and Vegan Richa