Our Best Black Lentil Recipes

Black Lentil Veggie Soup in a white bowl
Photo: Buckwheat Queen

Black lentils — also known as beluga lentils or urad dal — are one of the best legumes to add to your pantry. With a firm outer skin and tender inside, these hearty lentils practically pop when you bite down on them. Their firm texture enables them to hold up well in soups and salads when other lentil varieties would typically get too mushy. They're also a staple in Indian cooking, often blended into creamy dal dishes (also spelled daal or dahl). Take a look at some of our best recipes for black lentils.

01 of 08

Braised Black Lentils

Braised Black Lentils on a beige plate

Cooked up in a thyme-infused broth and served with a drizzle of champagne vinegar, these black lentils make an elegant side dish. Reviewer sonjagroset says, "I love to make a big batch of these to eat both hot and cold during the week. They are really great to bulk up a salad, or make a nice side dish at dinner."

02 of 08

Makhani Daal (Buttery Lentils)

Makhani Daal in a black bowl
Buckwheat Queen

A trio of black lentils, split chickpeas, and red kidney beans create this stick-to-your-ribs daal. Don't skip the pat of butter and dollop of sour cream at the end, they're essential to creating the decadent taste this dish is famous for.

03 of 08

Chef John's Black Lentil Soup

close up of Chef John's Black Lentil Soup

Lentil soup may sound a bit homey, but one bite of this heavily seasoned dish that starts with bacon will convince you otherwise. Chef John says, "These black beauties cook up melt-in-your-mouth tender, but still retain their structural integrity, which gives the soup both a thick, satisfying body, and a light, non-starchy mouthfeel."

04 of 08

Punjabi Sukha Urad Dal

Punjabi Sukha Urad Dal with naan
Ryan Lam

Using split black lentils, also called urad dal, makes this dish ready in under an hour. Seasoned with green chiles, fresh tomatoes, plenty of garlic, and a hefty dose of garam masala, you'll need a side of naan for sopping up all the flavor.

05 of 08

Black Lentil Stew with Sausage and Kale

Black Lentil Stew with Sausage and Kale in a white bowl with a dollop of sour cream
Chef John

Lentils and kale may not often be associated with the phrase "comfort food," but you'll be convince after a taste of this hearty stew. Plenty of veggies and smoked sausage add a chunky texture and world of flavor.

06 of 08

Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils)

Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils)
Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils). tox

Irresistibly rich and with a silky smooth texture, this dal makhani recipe will convert even the biggest of lentil skeptics. It starts with a buttery sautéed base and ends with a drizzle of cream.

07 of 08

Black Lentil Veggie Soup

Black Lentil Veggie Soup in a white bowl
Buckwheat Queen

Have a hearty meal of vegetarian protein and plenty of veggies with this black lentil soup. Reviewer Buckwheat Queen says, "Super easy and super delicious soup recipe. The ginger and spices are subtle but pleasant."

08 of 08

More About Lentils

Skillet and metal scoop with dried brown lentils on wood
Westend61/Getty Images
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