Red Lentil Dahl (healthy, vegan + gluten free)

Beans: best in curries, salads, stir-fries, when roasted, desserts, or even straight out of the can! Just not out of the bag when they’re raw. Firstly, that’s not tasty, and for some varieties, it’s not even safe due to certain toxins that are killed from heat. But anyways, as you can tell from the title, we’re talking about the red lentil dahl from my 5,000 calorie challenge, aka 10,000 calorie challenge fiasco.

I am totally not joking when I say that this was one of my favorite meals in the entire challenge, given that its deliciously savory and spicy aroma contrasted very nicely with the overload of sugary sweetness I ingested earlier in the day. However, time over time I’ve had lentil dahl similar to this, and I enjoy it just as much, if not more due to eating more slowly and cherishing the food rather than rushing to eat it all in one sitting!

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Okay, on another note, dahl and I have had a pretty uneventful relationship in the past. With my love for Indian food, I never truly liked dal because the lentils would always be watered down with a soupy broth that lacked flavor. In general, I prefer my Indian curry sauces very, very thick, hence why I had a much better experience cooking my own! Let me tell you that this red lentil dahl is so thick that it could work as a spread!

Speaking of which, there are so many ways to spell dahl. I’ve always read it as dahl, but many others claim that it’s spelled dal and daal as well! Interesting, right? I guess it’s sort of the same way people go about spelling omelet or barbecue! There’s not quite one right or wrong way to say it!

I also served my red lentil dahl with some Trader Joe’s Murasaki sweet potatoes. Absolutely incredible way to complement the curry!

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RECIPE (serves 2-3)

  • 1 cup of dry red lentils (can also be any color)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP curry paste, preferably red or brown
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 red onion, chopped or sliced
  • Vegetables of choice; I used one entire bag of shaved Brussel sprouts
  • 2-3 cups of water, vegetable broth, or coconut milk
  • Seasonings to taste


  1. Bring the water to a boil on medium-high heat in a saucepan or pot.
  2. Once the water has finished boiling, reduce the heat to low and add the lentils, stirring around evenly.
  3. Stir in the curry paste, spices, and seasonings.
  4. Incorporate the lemon juice and vegetables thoroughly.
  5. Allow the lentils to cook completely while the water simmers.
  6. Serve warm with sweet potatoes, brown rice, salad greens, or any bread of your choice!

Do you prefer thicker or thinner curries? Ever encountered more than one way to spell a dish?

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