This Green Lentils dal recipe is a must-try if you’re craving an easy nutritious vegan meal. Loaded with green lentils, spices, and aromatic herbs, this homemade dal is both simple to make and perfect for easy weeknight meals.
About this homemade green lentil dhal recipe
I absolutely love this easy and fuss-free lentil curry recipe, perfect for quick and healthy mid-week meals or busy weekends. It combines the goodness of green lentils with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and a blend of flavourful spices.
Whether you choose to cook it in instant pot pressure cooker for a dump-and-go experience or on the stovetop with a separate cooking method, this protein-rich and plant-based lentil curry is a comforting and nutritious choice. Serve it with rice or roti for a satisfying and wholesome meal.
Why you’ll love this recipe?
- Easy to make: This recipe is straightforward and uncomplicated, requiring minimal effort and kitchen skills.
- Packed with flavours: The combination of spices, herbs, and aromatic ingredients creates a deliciously rich and satisfying taste experience.
- Versatile: Whether you prefer it with rice, bread, or as a soup, this dal adapts well to different serving options, allowing you to enjoy it in various ways.
- Dietary needs: Suitable for Vegans, Vegetarians and those on Gluten free diet.
- Easy to scale up or down: You can adjust the quantities to prepare a larger batch for gatherings or scale it down for a single serving, making it flexible to suit your specific needs.
Ingredients for Green Lentils Dal curry
- Green lentils: The star ingredient, packed with protein, fibre, and various vitamins and minerals. If desired, you can substitute with Brown lentils, Yellow lentils, Red Lentils, Masoor Dal, or Toor dal.
- Onion: White onion is typically used, but Red onion or shallots can be used as well.
- Tomato: Fresh tomatoes lends a sweet and tangy flavour to the dhal.
- Ginger garlic: Fresh ginger and garlic add a warm and aromatic touch to the dal. Alternatively, ready-made ginger garlic paste can be used.
- Chilli: Provides a spicy kick to the dish. Adjust the amount of green chilli and red chilli powder to suit your taste preferences.
- Spices: A blend of turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, and asafoetida infuse the dal with its unique flavour.
- Spinach or any other greens: (Optional) Fresh spinach is added for extra nutrition and a vibrant green colour. You can also incorporate other greens such as kale, methi, or dill.
- Fresh coriander: Adds a burst of fresh flavour and a vibrant green hue.
- Lemon: Balances out the richness of the dal, or lime juice can be used as a substitute.
How to make Green lentil dal?
Instant pot method
I start by cooking the green lentils with water, turmeric, green chilli and salt in the Instant Pot for about 6 minutes on high pressure. Then, all you have to do is add a flavorful tarka , garnish it with fresh coriander, and finish it off with a squeeze of fresh lime. It doesn’t get any easier than this!
Stove top method
I recommend cooking the lentils separately for about 20-30 minutes and draining any excess water. Meanwhile, you can cook the remaining ingredients separately on a skillet and then add the cooked lentils to the mix. Give it a good stir, and voila! Your delicious Green Lentil dal is ready to be enjoyed.
What to serve with Green lentil dal?
- Pair with white rice, brown rice, or other grains such as quinoa for a satisfying and wholesome meal.
- Enjoy alongside roti, garlic naan bread, or yogurt flatbread to complement the flavours of the dal.
- Create a comforting Indian feast by serving the dal with paneer curry or mushroom curry, roti, yellow pilau rice, onion bhaji, kachumber salad, and cucumber raita.
Storing leftover Green lentils Dhal
In the fridge: Transfer the cooled dal to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. Divide dal into smaller portions for easier reheating later on. To reheat on stovetop or microwave, add a splash of water to have a desired consistency.
In the freezer: Allow the dal to cool, then store the leftover dal in freezer-safe containers or bags for up to 3 months. Perfect for batch cooking.
Reheat: When reheating frozen dal, it’s best to thaw it in the fridge overnight. You can also reheat frozen dal directly on the stove or in the microwave.
How long to cook Green lentils?
When cooking Green lentils on a stovetop, use a large saucepan. Add the lentils and enough water to cover them. Don’t cover the pot too tightly to prevent boiling over. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are just tender, skimming any foam that forms. Green lentils typically take about 20-30 minutes. If you prefer them softer, cook for 30 minutes or until tender.
For cooking Green lentils in an Instant Pot, place the washed lentils and water in the inner pot. Secure the lid, set the vent to seal, and pressure cook on HIGH for 6 minutes, followed by a natural pressure release (NPR).
Do I need to rinse Green Lentils?
Lentils, beans, and rice can contain debris and dirt. While typical packaging might not explicitly mention rinsing lentils, it’s essential to rinse green lentils in fresh water at least 4-5 times until the water runs clear. This thorough washing helps remove potential dirt, starch, and foam.
Easy Green Lentils Tarka Dal recipe below
For cooking the lentils
- 1 cup green lentils rinsed (200g)
- 2½ – 3 cups water
- 1 green chilli optional
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice or lime juice
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves
Stove Top Instructions
- Wash the lentils at least 4-5 times in water until clear. Drain and set it aside.1 cup green lentils
- In a saucepan, add lentils, 2½ cups of water, turmeric powder, and optionally, green chilies. Cover the saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until the lentils are tender. Be sure to skim any foam that forms on the top. Cooking the lentils may require 20-30 minutes: 20 minutes for firm lentils and 30 minutes for soft lentils.2½ – 3 cups water, 1 green chilli, ½ tsp turmeric powder
- After the lentils have finished cooking, whisk them to achieve a smooth consistency. If the dal appears too thick, you can add an additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Season with salt.salt to taste
Instant Pot Instructions
- Place the washed lentils, 3 cup of water, turmeric, salt, green chilies to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and turn the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on HIGH for 6 minutes and allow for the pressure to release naturally (NPR).1 cup green lentils, 2½ – 3 cups water, 1 green chilli, ½ tsp turmeric powder, salt to taste
- Heat oil/ ghee in a medium sklllet over medium heat. Once hot, add cumin seeds. Allow it to splutter. Add ginger, garlic, onion and fry for 3 minutes until translucent.Add the tomatoes, spice powders, salt and cook for 4-5 minutes.2 tbsp oil or ghee, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 3 garlic clove, 1 inch ginger, 1 medium onion, 1 medium tomato, 1 tsp ground coriander, ¼-½ tsp red chili powder or sub kashmiri red chili powder, ½ tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp turmeric, salt to taste
- Transfer the prepared Tarka to the dal and stir. Cook again for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add garam masala, fresh lemon juice, chopped fresh coriander and give it a stir. Serve hot with basmati rice and kachumber salad.½ tsp garam masala, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice or lime juice, 2 tbsp coriander leaves