Mummy’s Dal

A very popular vegan recipe, dal is a hearty, stick-to-your-bones staple in every Indian home. I grew up eating this practically every day, and whenever I miss my mummy – who still lives in India – I cook up a large batch of dal using her very special recipe. “Dal” is the Hindi word for “lentils.” Check out the recipe below to see why this is a very appropriate name for this comfort dish!


Preparing the dal

  1. 1 cup masoor dal/split pink lentils*
  2. 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped
  3. 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  4. 2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  5. ½ inch ginger, finely chopped
  6. 1 tsp turmeric powder*
  7. A pinch or two of garam masala powder *
  8. 5 cups water for pressure cooking
  9. 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
  10. Salt to taste



  1. 1 tablespoon oil or 1.5 tablespoon ghee* or butter
  2. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (known as ‘jeera’)*
  3. 1 teaspoon mustard seed (known as ‘rai’)
  4. 5 to 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  5. Fresh curry leaves (known as ‘kadi patta’)
  6. Dried red chilies (optional if you don’t like spicy) *
  7. ½ teaspoon red chili powder



  1. 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
  2. Juice of 1 lemon
  3. 1 or 2 tablespoon cream (optional)
  4. Loads of love


The fun begins

  1. Rinse and soak the lentils in water.
  2. Cook the lentils in a pot with 2 .5 cups of water with green chilies, onion, tomatoes, ginger, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, water, coriander leaves and salt.
  3. Mash the dal with a wired whisk. If the dal looks thick, then add some water. Keep aside.
  4. For the tempering, heat up oil, ghee or butter. Make sure the flame is low or spices will burn. Add cumin and wait till it gets fragrant. Then add mustard seeds, garlic cloves, curry leaves, dried red chilies and red chili powder. Once the mix is fragrant, add the tempering to the dal and stir well.
  5. Serve with garnish ingredients.


*Ingredients found at your local Indian store. We love to shop at Pooja Groceries in NE Minneapolis.


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