Masur Dal (Red Lentils with Onion)

Masur Dal (Red Lentils with Onion)


1/2 cup dried red lentils
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon sugar
5 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 chili peppers
1/2 onion, large chopped


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Rinse the lentils in a strainer under running water two to three times.
  3. In a bowl, combine the washed lentils, 1 teaspoon oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Boil lentils in 1 1/2 cups water until they turn yellow and soft. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, and sugar to the boiled lentils and mix them well.
  5. In a separate pan, add rest of the oil and allow it to heat.
  6. Split the chili peppers in half and add to the heated oil.
  7. Add onion to the oil and stir until it starts to turn light brown.
  8. Add 2 Tablespoons boiled lentils (mixed with spices) into the fried onion and stir well for one minute.
  9. Add the rest of the boiled lentil mix and stir.
  10.  Add 1 cup of water and allow it to boil for two minutes. Serve over white rice. Add parsley garnish if desired.


This is a very common food item in Bengali as well as in Indian communities. Generally, lunch or dinner is started with this item followed by two to three main courses. On special occasions, or when preparing this for someone special, one may garnish it with coconut flakes or cilantro leaves.

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