Bengali red split lentil dal

  • 15min
  • 2
  • 393 kcal
  • Easy
  • Vegan

Per 437 g contains

393 kcal 1657 kj
7.4 g
0.6 g
4 g
2.6 g

of an adult's recommended intake.
Typical energy values per 100g: 379kj/90kcal

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Authored by Peer reviewed by Rose Constantine Smith
Originally published

A comforting dish that is nutritious and filling, with a hint of spice

This dal is great to make in advance. Simply add a little boiling water when reheating and simmer for a few minutes.


For the dal
  • Red split lentils
    200g 7oz
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Turmeric powder
  • Panch phoron (Bengali five spice)
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt
  • Boiling water
    650ml 23fl oz
  • Green chilli, halved
Toppings (optional)
  • Lemon
  • Fresh coriander
Show all

Cooking Method

  1. Place the red split lentils in a large pan. Wash with cold water and drain a couple of times to clean them.
  2. Next place boiling water over the lentils and simmer in a pan for 10 minutes. A little scum will form on the top of the lentils; simply use a spoon to remove it. You may also find that you need to add a little more water for a more soupy consistency. In the end, the lentils should change colour from orange to yellow and become soft.
  3. When the lentils have softened, turn off the heat and put them to one side.
  4. Use another small pan to heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the panch phoron, turmeric powder and fresh green chilli. Move around the pan for 30 seconds, so that the spices begin to fizzle, before tipping them on to the lentils.
  5. Next add the tomatoes to the pan of lentils and spices, along with the salt. Simmer for a further 3 minutes so that the tomatoes begin to soften, but still hold their shape. Remove the chilli before serving, unless you want some heat.
  6. Serve with some fresh lemon on the side and a scattering of fresh coriander.

Nutritional Information

Typical Valuesper 100gper 437g serving
90 kcal
379 kj
393 kcal
1657 kj
of which saturates
1.7 g
0.1 g
7.4 g
0.6 g
of which sugars
12.3 g
0.9 g
53.7 g
4 g
Fibre1.4 g
6.1 g
Protein5.7 g
24.8 g
Salt0.6 g
2.6 g


Lentils are high in protein and low in fat. They are a great source of iron and are good at stabilising blood sugar levels, which is helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycaemia. 


Turmeric is known to contain magnesium, iron, fibre, vitamin B6, potassium and vitamin C. Research studies have also suggested it is good for the heart, lowering cholesterol, and improving liver function, and it could help reduce risk of some cancers.


The spices making up the panch phoron (panch is 5 in Bengali) are: fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds and fennel seeds. Fenugreek has been shown to lower glucose levels in people with diabetes who are not on insulin. It may also help with lowering blood pressure, digestion and maintaining good health. 

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