Turmeric Dal | Recipes | Cook For Your Life
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Turmeric Dal

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5 out of 5 stars (based on 12 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 30 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 4 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 10 ingredients

Dal is one of the basics of Indian cooking. It’s easy to make and easy to digest — eat it with brown rice and you’ll get complete protein. Add some sauteed greens and you’ll have...


  • 2 cups split red lentils picked over and washed well
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ inch ginger root peeled and quartered
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
  • salt to taste

For the spiced oil:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee, butter (see Chef Tips), or coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced through the root
  • 1 to 2 whole dried red chilies (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)
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Nutrition Facts


406 cals


8 g

Saturated Fat

6 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

1 g

Monounsaturated Fat

1 g


63 g


2 g


11 g


24 g


803 mg


  1. Put the lentils, water, ginger, and turmeric into a heavy pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, skimming off any scum that forms on top. Add salt to taste. Turn the heat down to low and cover.
  2. Simmer until the lentils are soft and breaking up, about 25 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they thicken and soften, they will need stirring to stop them sticking to the bottom of the pan. When they are thick and creamy looking, remove from the heat, and discard the ginger. Cover and set aside.
  3. Heat the ghee in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When it has completely melted, and starts to ripple, add the cumin seeds. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and chili pods. Cook stirring until the garlic colors and the chili pods have darkened to a deep red. Add the cilantro. It will spit and sizzle. Cook for a few seconds then tip the spiced oil over the lentils. Mix well and serve immediately with Brown Basmati Rice.

Chef Tips

Ghee is clarified butter. Although it also exists in vegan form, we prefer coconut oil as a vegan option.

You can find ghee in the dairy section of your favorite health food store, but if you can’t find it, use unsalted butter as follows: Melt slowly in a skillet over low heat until it stops foaming, then cook until all the solids turn a brown color, about 8 minutes. This will give you clarified butter. Pass through a fine strainer and continue with the recipe.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society