Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Main Course,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Indian Red Lentil Dahl (Vegan+GF)

I’ve got a new one today, something I’ve actually never made before.

I know it’s kind of a love it or hate it type of food, but I love pretty much any Indian dish. When I was a younger my family never really liked it so I didn’t make it much. Of course, now it’s like a staple when I’m batch cooking for just me or me and my roomies. This dish is great to make ahead because it almost gets better next day.

Curries are something that I make all the time but I’ve never made a dahl (also spelled dal or daal). If you’ve never tried it either you might be wondering what it is. It’s basically just a thick lentil stew with lots of spices. I love it because it’s quick, easy, very filling, and super nutritious. You can serve it with rice or naan bread/pitas.

Personally, I’m a rice girl. It’s not that I’m afraid of gluten or anything though, I just LOVE rice! If you’re more of a bread lover than you can use store-bought or homemade pitas. Hey, and who says you can’t do both? I’m down with that I just didn’t feel like making pitas for this particular recipe. #feelinglazy

Okay, so if you do try this please let me know here on the blog or tag me in a photo on one of your socials!

Indian Red Lentil Dahl (Vegan+GF)

This quick and easy Indian dish is the perfect weeknight dinner or make ahead lunch!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 - 5 servings


  • 1 cup dry red lentils rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger root, finely minced
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach

For Serving

  • Sliced avocado and cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)
  • rice or pita bread


  1. Pour the lentils into a fine mesh sieve and rinse well until the water runs clear. Place lentils in a medium saucepan along with 3 cups of water. Place over medium low heat and allow the lentils to cook for 20 minutes, halfway covered.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a medium non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion, green chili pepper, garlic, and ginger. cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften. Add the cinnamon stick and other spices, along with the tomatoes. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the tomatoes are softened, then remove the cinnamon stick.

  3. After the 20 minutes, drain any excess water from the lentils. Add the broth, spinach, and lentils to the skillet with everything else and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until the spinach is cooked and the everything has thickened. Season to taste with additional salt,

  4. Garnish with cilantro and avocado if desired and serve with rice and naan/pitas.

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