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5 from 20 votes

Easy Red Lentil Dal

This easy red lentil dhal with leafy greens recipe is perfect comfort food and the ultimate one pot dish. Ready in just 25 minutes, it is supremely comforting, like a hug in a bowl. Vegan and naturally gluten free. 
Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins


  • 2 tsp olive or coconut oil - ideally unrefined extra virgin
  • 1 onion - peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds - or nigella / onion
  • 200 g red lentils
  • 550 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 handful green leafy vegetables - spinach, shredded kale or spring greens
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat. Add the onion and fry until fragrant and translucent.
  • Add the spices, and fry for another minute until fragrant.
  • Stir in the lentils and pour over the stock. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover the pan and simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time to time. If you want a soupier dhal, then add some more liquid.
  • Add the green vegetables; if using, stir spinach straight in. Blanch kale or spring greens by putting them in a sieve and pouring a kettle of boiling water over them before adding them to the pan.
  • Towards the end of cooking, add the lemon juice. You don't want to skip this as the lemon lifts the entire dish.


  • Vary the spices. Swap the curry powder for garam masala.
  • Grate garlic and ginger in when you are frying the spices. 
  • Make a tarka dhal – after cooking the onion and spice set to one side and use to top the lentil mixture. 
  • Add different vegetables. Try my courgette dal
  • Add extra stock to make a lentil soup
  • Pack leftovers into airtight pots and freeze
  • Don't skip the lemon juice. You can't taste it but it makes a massive difference to the final dish. If you have leftover lemons, juice them, pour the juice into an ice cube tray and freeze.  Then just drop a frozen cube in when cooking daal. 
Nutritional Information 
  • This recipe is 7 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion 
• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
• Unless stated otherwise cup conversions have been made with an online tool. For accuracy please check with your favoured conversion tool. We recommend buying inexpensive digital kitchen scales.
Serving: 4servings | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 499mg | Potassium: 660mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1662IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 5mg