How to Make Red Lentil Dal
PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 60 MINUTES
SKILL LEVEL: EASY
INGREDIENTSSKILL LEVEL: EASY
PREPARATION OF THIS HEALTHY RECIPE
No Indian meal is complete without dal or rice. Bengali's use a variety of different lentils cooked with many different spices. Feel free to experiment.
1. Soak the lentils in water for 2-12 hours. Then drain and rinse well.
2. Fill water to twice the height of the lentil. Add salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat for 60 minutes.
3. Cut tomatoes into wedges and add.
4. Fry onions in 2 tbsp sunflower oil. Add garlic at the end because it burns quickly.
5. Mix into daal.
6. In a separate frying pan, make a paste with the spices and fry in the remaining oil. Add to lentils.
7. Cook, keeping at a simmer adding some water every now and then. The lentils are done when they have completely melted and the soup is smooth, blended and watery. This typically takes 60 minutes of simmering. Garnish with lime and fresh cilantro.
How Can This Ayurvedic Recipe Make You Feel Great?
'Red Lentil Dal' is one of those meals - no matter how many times you cook it, it always tastes a little different. But that is the beauty of this recipe. It is a wonderful base for each individual to make their own mark on it. The use of simple ingredients and carefully selected spices in this meal encapsulates the wisdom of Ayurvedic cooking, while making it accessible to even the most novice chef. No matter how bad your day or long the week, a steaming bowl of warm, comforting dal will keep you grounded and content.
Lentils can be difficult to digest, but with the proper preparation (soaking and rinsing thoroughly beforehand) and combining with digestive spices, they become a nourishing fuel and a staple in Ayurvedic cooking. The spices used in this recipe are carminative in nature which means they minimize the gas forming properties often associated with lentils. Carminative herbs and spices, like cardamom, garlic and ginger, also stoke your digestive fire and assist in the elimination of digestive toxins.
One Pot Wonder
When all the ingredients are cooked together, they become well combined and easy to digest. This type of 'one pot wonder' meal is exactly what the digestive system loves to receive. Over time, eating these light, soft and easy to digest meals will increase energy and improve digestive strength. 'Red Lentil Dal' can be enjoyed at any occasion, but is particularly useful when when you are feeling under the weather or recovering from an illness.
WHAT IS RED LENTIL DAL?
When I first discovered daal, I ate it every meal for a week in a row. Then I was so sick of daal I didn't eat it again for several months. Now we have a more stable relationship and I enjoy daal once a week.
WHY EAT AN AYURVEDIC DIET?
Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic diet is
tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with
at any given time. Ayurveda shows you your specific body type’s needs and what
should be favored in your Ayurvedic menu. Watch as you eat less but feel more satisfied because what you
are eating truly nourishes you. Since Ayurveda believes all disease begins in the digestive
tract, food is your first medicine. By eating a healthy diet that’s ideal for your body, you
experience optimal health.
Is Red Lentil Dal Good for My Ayurvedic Diet?
Find out by taking this free, easy quiz
You'll learn your body type, and whether Red Lentil Dal is a good fit for your body type. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.
What is the biocharacteristic theory of medicine?
Increases These Biocharacteristics (Gunas)
Functional Ayurveda helps you assess imbalances through 20 main biocharacteristics
Aggravating these characteristics weakens your body and causes imbalance.
By knowing which characteristics are habitually imbalanced in your body, you will be able to identify and correct imbalances before you get sick.
Every characteristic has an opposite which balances it (i.e. hot balances cold).
You restore balance by favoring diet and lifestyle choices that increase the opposite characteristic.
ABOUT CLEAR BIOCHARACTERISTIC
Clear refers to anything that cleanses or flushes out wastes, or that digests ama.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CLEAR
ABOUT HOT BIOCHARACTERISTIC
Hot is identified by increased body temperature, metabolism, or inflammation.
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOT
ABOUT LIQUEFIED BIOCHARACTERISTIC
Substances that thin fluids (lower viscosity of blood plasma). These may include blood thinners or mucolytic herbs.
LEARN MORE ABOUT LIQUEFIED
ABOUT EASY BIOCHARACTERISTIC
Easy refers to anything easy to digest, or digests quickly.
LEARN MORE ABOUT EASY
ABOUT MOBILE BIOCHARACTERISTIC
Mobile refers to anything that stimulates the nervous system, muscles, or activity.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MOBILE
The 6 Tastes
Taste is used to sense the most basic properties and effects of food.
Each taste has a specific medicinal effect on your body.
Cravings for food with certain tastes indicate your body is craving specific medicinal results from food.
Taste is experienced on the tongue and represents your body's reaction to foods.
Sweet taste causes physical satisfaction and attraction whereas bitter taste causes discomfort and aversion.
Kapha should use less sweet taste while Vata and Pitta would benefit from using more sweet taste.
One of the first signs of illness is that your taste and appetite for food changes.
The six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent.
Do you crave foods with any of the tastes below?
ABOUT PUNGENT BIOCHARACTERISTIC
Pungency is characterized by irritation, or sharp, spicy foods that irritate the mouth such as black pepper.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PUNGENT
ABOUT BITTER BIOCHARACTERISTIC
Bitter is disagreeable and stimulating rejection, and a strong taste often associated with black coffee, dark chocolate, and most salad greens.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BITTER
The Three Doshas / Body Types
According to the biocharacteristic theory of medicine
people tend to get sick, over and over again, due to habitual causes and imbalances that are unique to the person.
Your body type summarizes this tendency, showing you the 'type' of conditions and imbalances that frequently challenge your health & wellness.
Using body type, you can also identify remedies likely to improve your strength and resiliency.
Your body type identifies physical and mental characteristics as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses.
The calculation of your body type is based on your medical history.
The 3 functional body types
are Catabolic (Vata), Metabolic (Pitta), and Anabolic (Kapha).
Catabolic individuals tend to break down body mass into energy.
Metabolic individuals tend to burn or use energy.
Anabolic individuals tend to store energy as body mass.
Catabolic people tend to be easily stimulated, hyperactive, underweight and dry.
Metabolic people tend to be rosy-cheeked, easily irritated, focused, driven, and easily inflamed.
Anabolic people are heavy, stable and grounded, but if they store too much energy, they could gain weight easily and have congestion.
Experiences are Personal
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.
The list of herbal-actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Here are the herbal actions of Red Lentil Dal:
Stimulates the release of gas. Helpful for bloating or cramping abdominal pain. Propels food downward. Carminatives typically expel gas by relaxing the muscles of the intestines.
SEE ALL 'CARMINATIVE' FOODS / HERBS
An herb that softens stool that is hard and difficult to pass. They are the safest and most gentle type of laxative. Some foods are even stool softeners, such as warm milk with ghee.
SEE ALL 'STOOL-SOFTENER' FOODS / HERBS
An herb that decongests, dislodges or improves metabolization of toxins from the body, transforming or altering fluids to a more healthy state.
SEE ALL 'DETOXICANT' FOODS / HERBS
Expectorants help you eliminate mucus from the lungs. These herbs often work by increasing the quantity of mucus, or thinning the mucus. Expectorants are indicated when phlegm congests the lower respiratory tract.
SEE ALL 'EXPECTORANT' FOODS / HERBS
An agent that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth. Antimicrobial is an umbrella term that can be broken down into specific categories of target microorganism, such as anti-bacterials, fungals, and virals.
SEE ALL 'ANTIMICROBIAL' FOODS / HERBS
Herbs that increase the heart rate. Useful in cardiovascular health, blood stagnation, and subjective feeling of heaviness in the chest area.
SEE ALL 'CARDIAC-STIMULANT' FOODS / HERBS
A vasodilator is an herb that widens the blood vessels by the relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, thereby increasing circulation systemically or to a local area.
SEE ALL 'VASODILATOR' FOODS / HERBS
Restores the proper function of the body by cleansing the blood and balancing blood chemistry. In Ayurveda terms, they pacify Pitta in rakta. They were traditionally used to revitalize and detoxify after a long winter.
SEE ALL 'ALTERATIVE' FOODS / HERBS
Herbs that promote urine formation, thereby flushing the kidneys and urinary tract while eliminating any excess water retention. As diuretics reduce water retention, they are often used to reduce blood pressure.
SEE ALL 'DIURETIC' FOODS / HERBS
Herbs which stimulate menstruation. Emmenagogues are used for scanty menstruation, to relieve menstrual pain, and improve blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus.
SEE ALL 'EMMENAGOGUE' FOODS / HERBS
Joyful Belly is a recognized school of biocharacteristics medicine
Eat Well for Life With Ayurveda: Balance Your Dosha
Love our recipes? Discover how to balance your diet for only $35 with this popular short course.
GET THE ECOURSE
About the Author
John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a
healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics
His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful.
John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda
offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.
John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel,
as well as public service work in South Asia.
John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem.
His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion.
John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing.
In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots,
and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church.
Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick.
That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.
Comments & Impressions of 'Red Lentil Dal'
Do you like 'red lentil dal'?
Why or why not?
What makes it unique? Is there something you'd like to know about 'red lentil dal'?
(4.70 out of 5 stars) 10 ratings, 2046 likesSign in to review this recipe
I fixed this for dinner last night. It was delicious! My kids and husband both loved it. Thank you!
My daughter made some of this for me. It was delicious, so now I have the recipe and I will be making it for myself and my husband. Joyce, Greeley, CO
I made this and I loved it. I did add some root vegatables and adjusted the recipe a bit. I also served it with yogurt on top. Very good:)
Even though the instructions weren't very good, the result was good.
Please tell us how the instructions can be improved.
- David McKaig, Swannanoa, NC 09-01-14
Elan! You can squeeze the lime atop the daal afterwards as a garnish. Don't cook it!
- Natalie Immel, Asheville, NC 04-06-15
Elan! You can squeeze the lime atop the daal afterwards as a garnish. Don't cook it!
- Natalie Immel, Asheville, NC 04-06-15
If using Hingvastak Churna do we simply add it to this recipe or substitute it for some of the spices listed? I'd appreciate a detailed dal recipe using the hingvastak churna -- I bought it a while ago but haven't used it yet. Thanks!
- Janet Cox, Waite hill, OH 04-06-15
Janet - you can definitely use hingvashtak in places of the spices in this recipe...1/4-1/2 tsp per serving to start. Spices are generally flexible, so just make it appeal to your taste buds and you should be good!
- Natalie Immel, Asheville, NC 04-07-15
Is there an onion that is better for kosha
- Tina, San jose, CA 10-11-15
Kapha can substitute raw red onion.
Just made this with yellow lentils. OMG amazing.
- Kristy Meyer, St. louis, MO 03-11-16
This was my first venture into the Ayurvedic diet. I love this recipe!
I've updated the instructions to include soaking and simmering time along with when to add the cilantro and lime. Our ingredients list always appears in alphabetical order. The leaves and stems of fresh cilantro can be used. Thank you for your feedback!
- Kimberly Kubicke, Asbury park, NJ 07-24-18
So delicious! I added chili pepper instead of cayenne by mistake and it still turned out great. I will definitely be making this again,