Daal Fry – Curried Red Lentils

Growing up, I always craved this one dish that my mum prepared. It was a simple curry made of some type of lentils in a spicy curry sauce. Very simple to prepare, but very nourishing. It is ubiquitous across the subcontinent, especially in India. There are literally thousands of different combinations of how this dish is prepared. But if you ask anyone, their mother makes it the best.

The very definition of comfort food is a traditional food that is easy to prepare and provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling. It is generally easy to prepare and full of nourishment. Today, I present to you, my comfort food but the flavor is very dear to my husband, because it reminds him of his mother 🙂


Lentils have been a part of human diet for a very long time. They are among the  earliest cultivated crops. They come in various colors and have a wide range of subtle differences in flavors. The red lentils used for this recipe have a distinctive earthy flavor to them, and cook in a relatively short time. It is widely used across India to prepare “ Daal ” which is basically curried lentils with spices.

Lentils are a good source of essential nutrients like protein and dietary fiber. They also provide a host of micro nutrients like folate, thiamine, phosphorus and iron.With about a quarter of the nutrition comprised of proteins, lentils are right next to soybeans and hemp in terms of quality of protein.


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Ingredients :

  • 1 cup Red lentils
  • 1 cup Ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 oz Cilantro
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Medium size Green chili
  • 1 tbsp Madras curry powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ tbsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • Salt as needed

Serves 2

Prep time 5 min

Cook time 20 min

Passive time 5-10 min


Instructions :

  • Wash the lentils and soak them in water until ready to cook.
  • Cut the tomatoes into small chunks and finely chop the cilantro, green chilies and garlic.
  • In a saucepan, heat the olive oil under medium heat. Add the cumin, mustard seeds , green chili and garlic and saute until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and saute for 2 min and then add lentils and saute for 2-3 min on Medium-low heat.
  • Add water and paprika cover with lid and cook for about 10-15 min on medium-low. Then add garam masala, madras curry powder and cook for 3-5 min on medium heat.
  • Add salt according to your preference. Garnish with cilantro just before removing the pan from the heat.
  • You can add a dash of lemon juice after the Dal cools down, to add a tangy note to this absolutely easy and delicious dish.

3aThe Daal fry as we call it, can be enjoyed with steamed white rice or flavored cumin rice. It also goes well with chapatis or naans (Types of Indian flat breads). You could also just eat it straight up curled up on the couch on a cold night, watching your favorite movie with your loved ones.

I will definitely try to do a post on preparing cumin rice very soon. Its another favorite of mine. Please try this recipe and I promise that you will love it.

Do let me know, your suggestions and comments 🙂

Have a nice day !

  2 comments for “Daal Fry – Curried Red Lentils

  1. October 7, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Looks great.

    • clovesandcaramel
      October 7, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you 🙂

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