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Spicy urad dal or black lentil dal
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4.84 from 48 votes

Spicy Urad Dal

A simple but delicious and spicy urad dal or black lentil dahl is the perfect dish to spice up a weeknight or weekend dinner. Serve with brown rice or white rice and a simple vegetable stir-fry for a nutritious meal that -- warning -- may lead to everyone licking their plates.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: gluten-free, Indian, nut-free, Vegan
Servings: 8
Calories: 130.38kcal


  • 1 cup urad dal (black lentil dal)
  • 1 inch ginger root (grated)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne (or paprika for less heat)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 10 cloves garlic (minced or grated)
  • 3 medium tomatoes (pureed. Canned puree is fine too, use 1 cup)
  • 1 to 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp kasoori methi (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional, but adds a bit more depth. You won't taste the sugar)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
  • Salt to taste


  • Cook or pressure-cook the dal along with the ginger, cayenne or paprika and turmeric until tender and mushy. If you want a creamy dal, blend half the cooked dal into a smooth puree and add back to the remaining dal.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan
  • Add the garlic and stir quickly for about a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until the puree darkens, about five minutes.
  • Add the cooked urad dal, garam masala powder (use more or less based on your preference and the brand you have) and the kasoori methi (crush it between your fingers as you add it to the pot). Stir to mix.
  • Add water or vegetable stock if the dal is too thick. Bring the dal to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Add salt to taste. Stir in the vegan butter and add chopped coriander leaves. Turn off the heat.
  • Serve hot with rice or rotis.


Calories: 130.38kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.5g | Protein: 6.75g | Fat: 4.43g | Saturated Fat: 2.05g | Potassium: 129.39mg | Fiber: 5.83g | Sugar: 1.79g | Vitamin A: 628.66IU | Vitamin C: 8.73mg | Calcium: 26.4mg | Iron: 2.13mg