Orange or Red Lentils With Tomato (Masoor Dal)

Lentils with tomato masoor dal recipe

The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 3 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
117 Calories
4g Fat
18g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3
Amount per serving
Calories 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 806mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 65mg 326%
Calcium 58mg 4%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 724mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

From the book "The Bengali Five-Spice Chronicles" by Rinku Bhattacharya comes this authentic vegetarian Indian food recipe for orange or red split lentils with tomatoes and fresh cilantro, a Bengali Indian recipe called Tomato Dhoney Pata Diye Masoor Dal.

Author Rink says: "This is a weeknight variation of orange split lentils which are extremely versatile because of their quick cooking time and naturally mild and adaptive taste. They are comforting, simple, and as basic as it gets. Everyone in my family, including my children, loves this lentil. This light variation is a summertime favorite but can be enjoyed as a soup in winter, if desired, with some hot buttered whole wheat toast."

If you need to keep this Bengali masoor dal lentil dish vegan and dairy free, you can use a bit of olive oil or vegan margarine in place of the ghee. Enjoy.


  • ½ cup dried orange or red split lentils, masoor dal

  • 3 cups water, for cooking lentils

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 green chiles, slit lengthwise

  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons ghee. or olive oil or vegan margarine

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Steps to Make It

  1. Put the lentils and 3 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

    Ingredients for lentils with tomato masoor dal
    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  2. Add the turmeric, salt, and green chiles and cook for about 15 minutes.

    Add turmeric
    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  3. While the lentils are boiling a scum may form on the surface; you can gently remove this while the lentils are cooking.

    Peppers in pot
    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Mix the lentil and tomato mixture well—it should have a nice soupy consistency that is not too thin or too thick.

    Add tomatoes
    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  5. Heat the ghee in a small skillet on medium heat for about one minute, then add the cumin seeds and wait till the seeds begin to sizzle.

    Heat the ghee
    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  6. Pour this seasoned ghee with the cumin seeds over the lentils and stir in the fresh chopped cilantro.

    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak

Serve your red lentil masoor dal with steamed white rice, as is traditional in Indian cuisine, or as the author suggests, as a soup with some hot buttered toast for a light meal.

If you need to make this recipe dairy-free and vegan, you can of course substitute olive oil or vegetable oil for the Indian ghee. Enjoy your vegetarian masoor dal!

This vegetarian masoor dal recipe comes from "The Bengali Five-Spice Chronicles" by Rinku Bhattacharya.

Serve this red lentil Bengali masoor dhal dish with Indian basmati rice or Indian lemon rice, and of course, scoop it all up with some homemade vegan naan bread.

Recipe Tags: