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Everyday Dahl

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

Indian food is one of those cuisines that totally intimidates people. I don't know if it's the spices or the unfamiliar types of legumes, but they have so many recipes--like this--that are just one pot and easy to spice up or down.

***That said, the spices in this recipe are an excellent start to building up an Indian spice profile, and pop up in so many applications, including digestive tea***

This is a very simple a soul-nourishing recipe that is my go-to at least once a week. I will often add more water to make it a soup, or serve it over rice or with chapati or any other bread.

Also, if I'm not in the mood to make a veggie side, I'll just throw some into the pot toward the end so they have time to cook (carrots are particularly good, add them about halfway through cooking. Or--like I did in the one pictured--a few handfuls of spinach are amazing right at the end).


  • 1 cup red lentil

  • 2 TB sesame oil

  • 1-inch ginger finally diced

  • handful of curry leaves (sub out bay leaves if you aren't near an Indian grocer)

  • 1 1/4 tsp salt

  • juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 4 cups water


  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1/2 fennel seeds

  • cilantro for garnish


  • Place the red lentils in a bowl and fill with water. Agitate with your hand to release any dirt, then drain through a mesh strain.

  • In a pot, heat up oil and throw in the ginger and optional herbs until fragrant (usually a minute or less)

  • Add red lentils and curry leaves and coat

  • add water & salt

  • bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30-minutes. Add more water as needed. I like mine really soupy!

  • serve with a splash of lemon and a few cilantro sprigs if using.

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