Red Split Lentils (Masoor Dal)


Indian-inspired lentils the whole family will love and babies, too. Once the dal and rice are at the desired consistency, it's ready to eat or freeze. Make sure mixture is completely cool before freezing. I use freezer ice trays and small individual glass bowls with lids.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr 38 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 18 mins
6 servings


  • 1 cup basmati rice

  • 4 ½ cups water, divided

  • 1 cup red lentils (masoor dal), rinsed

  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion (Optional)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper (Optional)

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne powder (Optional)

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 cup broccoli florets (Optional)

  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (Optional)

  • 1 cup frozen peas (Optional)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed

  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (Optional)

  • 1 tablespoon peeled, finely grated fresh ginger

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated


  1. Rinse rice in several changes of water and transfer to a container. Cover with water and let soak at room temperature, 15 minutes to 1 hour. Drain.

  2. Combine 3 cups water with red lentils in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, skimming any scum that collects on the surface. Stir in onion, cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and turmeric. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

  3. Stir broccoli, tomatoes, peas, and salt into the pot. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes more.

  4. Combine drained rice with remaining 1 1/2 cup water in another pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low and simmer, covered with a tight-fitting lid, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

  5. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, ginger, and garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour over lentils; stir to distribute. Cook lentils until flavors combine, about 5 minutes. Serve lentils with rice.

Cook's Notes:

If you're not soaking the rice, cook it with 2 1/4 cups water.

The amount of water used to cook the lentils can be altered to reach the desired consistency. If using less water than directed, be sure to check on lentils frequently to make sure they are not drying out.

Substitute butter for the olive oil if desired.

To prepare for a baby, mix dal with rice and let cool. Mash or puree together. Whether you puree will depend on the size of the vegetables in dish. I usually puree the baby food when I use broccoli, but not peas.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

283 Calories
4g Fat
51g Carbs
13g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 283
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Sodium 433mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 18%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 23mg 117%
Calcium 48mg 4%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 516mg 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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