Daal (Spicy Garlicky Red Lentil)


Daal is like my “chicken noodle soup”.  It is my go to comfort food for when I need some TLC 🙂  I have it when I’m sick, when I’m sad or just pissed off at the world … hehe.  Daal is a must have on any Bengali dinner table, so it’s also got a nostalgic affect on me.

Daal means lentil and there are many different types of daal, but red lentil is the most popular and easiest to make.  Part of the legume family, lentil is quite healthy as well.  It helps lower cholesterol, good for the heart and does wonders for your digestive system.



There are many ways to cook daal.  It’s really good with any kind of vegetables or leafy greens.  Check out my recipe for Spinach Lentil .  This is the easiest, quickest way to make daal.  It requires only a few ingredients and is full of flavor.  I love it with white rice, naan or sometimes I love it just by itself as soup.  It truly does wonders for your stomach or when you’re feeling under the weather.



  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup of red lentil, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • A few green chillies, leave them whole if you don’t want it too spicy, I split them in half since I like it a little spicy
  • A handful of fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped


  • Fry the crushed garlic in the oil over medium heat, until light golden brown. **See note.
  • Add the lentils, turmeric and salt. Saute for a few minutes, until it’s nicely toasted and fragrant.
  • Add the water and cover with lid. On medium low heat bring to a boiling point.
  • Cook for about 20 minutes, or until you get your desired consistency. **See note.
  • Once the lentil is cooked, add the green chilies and cilantro .Turn off the heat and cover.
  • Serve with hot naan or rice.


  • Add the garlic while the oil is still cold. This way the garlic infuses the oil beautifully and doesn’t brown too fast.
  • I like mine a little thick with the lentils still a little al dente so I only cook it for 20 minutes.  If you want it thinner, add a bit more water and cook it for a little longer.


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