Spicy Indian Lentil Stew (Daal)

This is an easy and rewarding recipe for a spicy and flavorful Indian dish of lentil stew! Serve on its own or with basmati rice.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
4 servings


  • ½ cup dry yellow lentils

  • ¼ cup dry red lentils

  • ¼ cup split mung beans

  • 5 cups water

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 4 teaspoons ghee (clarified butter), divided

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 green chile peppers, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Rinse the yellow lentils, red lentils, and mung beans and put them in a medium saucepan with 5 cups water, salt, turmeric, and 1 teaspoon ghee. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are easily mashed, about 30 minutes.

  2. Heat remaining ghee in a frying pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until they sputter. Add onion, chile peppers, and ginger; stir-fry until onions are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and add cilantro and cayenne. Transfer mixture to lentils.

  3. Let mixture simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Cook's Notes:

Any type of spicy pepper can be used in place of the chiles. For a milder dish, adjust or leave out the chiles and cayenne.

This recipe is quite forgiving, and you can substitute types of lentils or spices according to what you have on hand. You can use oil instead of ghee.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

236 Calories
5g Fat
36g Carbs
13g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 236
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 744mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 14g 51%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 61mg 305%
Calcium 64mg 5%
Iron 5mg 25%
Potassium 664mg 14%

* 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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