black masoor dal

Black Masoor Dal

On days when we crave comfort, having a wholesome home cooked meal is everything we need. A basic dal tadka on a bed of steamed rice with maybe a lemon wedge or green chilli is the perfect comfort meal for me. If it is your comfort meal too, you’re at the right place. I will be sharing with you my take on the infamous Black Masoor Dal. It is a very simple dal tadka that is made with whole black Masoor dal or saboot Masoor dal as we call it in Hindi and flavoured with a handful of spices that are easily found in every Indian kitchen.

Dal is a staple in India and is eaten in a variety of forms all over the country. Indian dals are so healthy and comforting. And such a wide variety to choose from! Every part of the country has its own plethora of dal versions. Cannot imagine an Indian thali without a dal, right? This black Masoor dal, also known as brown lentils has a distinct flavour of its own and doesn’t require a lot of spices to be flavoured. This dal goes best with a side of hot steamed rice or even jeera rice but can be paired with roti or paratha as well because it has a tendency to thicken as it cools down. 

black masoor dal

I like to pressure cook my Black Masoor dal until it’s perfectly cooked. Thereafter, I temper it in an onion-tomato masala seasoned with basic Indian spices and it turns out to be so tasty! Whole Masoor Dal is highly rich in proteins and fibre. It has an earthly flavour, is easy to digest and is very palatable. Whole pulses are rich in nutrients, some of which are lost during splitting and skinning them. Black Masoor dal makes a very delicious, protein-packed and wholesome meal all by itself.

Whole Masoor dal is a one of the best vegetarian sources of protein and is also naturally vegan. It is also one of the most widely used dal all over India and is a healthy and delicious choice for everyday meals. Since it is whole, it is way richer in nutrients than polished or refined dals. It has a naturally creamy texture and thickens over time, making it not just perfect for rice but also quite a wonderful curry to be had with rotis.

Unlike other dals, whole masoor dal needs to be washed and soaked in sufficient water for at least 2 hours or overnight before cooking.

black masoor dal

Why make a hearty bowl of this dal?

  • Extremely flavourful and light
  • Has a naturally thick and creamy texture
  • Super quick. Comes together in just 30 minutes!
  • Healthy – one of the best vegetarian sources of protein
  • Naturally vegan
  • Requires basic Indian pantry ingredients.
  • Comfort meal!

black masoor dal

Note this recipe down to try this recipe in your own kitchen.

Preparation time – 20 minutes

Cook time – 40 minutes

Serves – 4 people


  • 2 cups of black Masoor dal
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 2 ½ cups of water
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp hing
  • 2 tbsp ginger – finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic – finely chopped
  • 2 large onions – finely chopped
  • 1 chili – slit
  • 1 cup tomatoes – finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 200 ml hot water
  • Handful of coriander leaves – finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ghee 


  1. Wash the whole Masoor dal well and let it soak in sufficient water for 1-2 hours or overnight.
  2. Transfer the soaked dal into a pressure cooker along with 2 ½ cups of water.
  3. Season with salt and turmeric powder and mix well.
  4. Set it to pressure cook and let it cook for 6-7 whistles.
  5. Once the dal is done, heat some mustard oil in a pan.
  6. When the oil gets hot, add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  7. Add the hing followed by ginger and garlic.
  8. Stir and cook till the garlic turn golden around the edges.
  9. Throw in the finely chopped onions and cook them stirring occasionally.
  10. Once the onions start turning brown, add in the chilli and cook for another few minutes.
  11. Now, add the finely chopped tomatoes and cook them for a few minutes.
  12. When the tomatoes become a little soft, add in your seasoning and dry spices – salt. Black pepper powder, cumin powder, coriander powder.
  13. Cook the spices for a few minutes.
  14. Now, add in the hot water to homogenise all the spices in the tempering.
  15. Cover and cook for a few seconds.
  16. Take the lid off, give it a goof mix and add in the chopped coriander leaves.
  17. Now is the time to add the cooked black Masoor dal to the tempering.
  18. Give it a good mix and combine everything well.
  19. Season with some garam masala and garnish with another handful of coriander leaves.
  20. Keep mixing it well.
  21. Finish it off with some ghee and serve hot with some steamed rice or hot rotis.

black masoor dal

black masoor dal

Give this recipe a try and make this Black Masoor Dal for your next meal and you’ll be left feeling happy and content, I promise! 

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