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Brown lentil curry served in a white bowl and a spoon

Whole masoor dal-Indian style brown lentil

Brown lentil curry, also known as sabut masoor ki dal is a very comforting and delicious dal recipe from India. This Indian dal is vegan and gluten-free. You can enjoy it with rice as well as any Indian bread like roti or naan.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 183kcal


  • Pressure cooker/ Cooking pot


  • 1 cup dried brown lentils sabut masoor
  • 3.5 cups water if using a pressure cooker
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1-2 chopped green chilies adjust to taste
  • A handful of fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  • Juice of ½ a lemon adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ tablespoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil/ any cooking oil of your choice


  • Rinse brown lentils. Put in the pressure cooker with water, turmeric powder, and half of the salt you are using in the recipe. Cook on medium flame until 3 whistles.
  • After 3 whistles, switch off the stove wait for around 5-10 minutes or until the pressure gets released completely.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add garlic and saute until it starts turning brown.
  • Next, add onion and cook until it also turns golden brown.
  • Add coriander powder and red chili powder. Saute for around 30 seconds.
  • Add green chilies, tomatoes, and the remaining salt. Cook until the tomatoes turn mushy.
  • Finally, add cooked brown lentils and mix everything. Let the dal simmer for 2 minutes and then switch off the stove.
  • Add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Mix. Serve hot with rice or roti.


  1. The number of whistles required to cook lentils in a pressure cooker depends on various factors like the capacity of the pressure cooker, the quality of lentils, even the climate of the place where you live. Start with 3 whistles and if you feel further cooking is required increase the number of whistles. I live in Dubai and have used a 2 ltr pressure cooker. In 3 whistles on medium flame, I got the perfect consistency.
  2. If you don't have a pressure cooker, cook the lentils in a regular pot for about an hour or until the lentils becomes soft. Also, add around 6-7 cups of water if cooking in a regular pot.
  3. You can soak the lentils for at least an hour to fasten the cooking process.
  4. Instead of water, vegetable stock can also be used to cook lentils.
  5. Non-vegans may add a dollop of ghee on top of dal. Lentil curries taste even better with ghee.
  6. More recipe tips and tricks are given within the post above. Please follow them to make this recipe.


Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 487mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 3mg