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Bengali masoor dal in Indian bowl from the front.
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4.54 from 13 votes

bengali masoor dal

Bengali masoor dal is a simple but delicious lentil dish that will complement any Indian meal. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: lentil curry, tarka dal
Servings: 6
Calories: 189kcal


  • 1 cup masoor dal - split red lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp panch phoran - bengali whole spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika - optional for colour
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 Tbsp garlic ginger paste - so much better when you make it yourself
  • 1-2 green finger hot chiles seeded and minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt plus more to taste


  • Combine the water with the lentils in a pot large enough to hold the ingredients plus some extra room. Lentils can boil over if you don't watch them closely...
  • Bring the water and lentils to a boil, uncovered and then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the lentils completely lose their shape. This takes about 40 minutes.
  • While the lentils cook, heat 3 Tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seed and panch phoran. Wait for them to start to crackle. This takes 20-30 seconds.
  • Add the onions and minced green chili, reduce heat to medium low and cook until the onions soften and turn translucent. This takes about 8-10 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to medium and add the garlic ginger paste. Stir into the onion chili mixture and cook for about a minute. 
  • Add the paprika and 1 tsp salt. Stir to mix evenly and cook another minute or so. 
  • Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes soften. You know you are done when the skin starts to come off the tomato.
  • Fold the tomato mixture into the lentils. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the salt. You will probably need another 1/2 tsp or so. Creep up on it, adding a bit at a time. You can add salt. You cannot take it away.


Serving: 6servings | Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 425mg | Potassium: 437mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 540IU | Vitamin C: 9.8mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2.7mg