Maintenant en lecture: Indian Dahl: Traditional Lentil Dish - Varieties and Tips
Dahl Indien: Plat de Lentilles Traditionnel - Variétés et Astuces

Indian Dahl: Traditional Lentil Dish - Varieties and Tips

Dahl, also known as dal, dhal, or daal, is a traditional South Asian dish, particularly popular in India and Nepal. It is a dish made from lentils, chickpeas, split peas, or other types of legumes. Dahl is valued for its rich flavor, ease of preparation, and high nutritional value.

Origin and Tradition

Dahl is an essential part of Indian cuisine. It is often eaten with rice or flatbreads like chapati. Traditionally, dahl is served as part of a full meal including vegetables, rice, and sometimes meat or fish. It can be eaten at any time of the day, but is usually served as a main course at supper or as a side dish at dinner.


There are many varieties of dahl, each with its own characteristics. Ingredients vary according to region and family traditions. Some recipes include fresh herbs, spices, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. The types of lentils used also vary: red (coral), yellow, green, black, or brown lentils.

Tadka: A Key Technique in Indian Cuisine

Tadka, also known as "tempering" in English, is an essential cooking technique in the preparation of many Indian dishes, including dahl. This method involves heating spices and sometimes aromatics (like onion, garlic, and ginger) in oil or ghee (clarified butter). This process releases the aromas and flavors of the spices, making them more intense and fragrant.

Tadka is usually prepared at the beginning or end of cooking. When added at the beginning, it serves as a flavor base for the dish. When added at the end, as is often the case with dahl, it acts as a final seasoning that enhances the flavors of the dish. Each family or region may have its own combination of spices for tadka, giving each dahl a unique and personal touch.


Dahl is usually accompanied by basmati rice, Indian breads like naan or roti, and vegetables. It can also be topped with fresh cilantro or yogurt to add freshness and richness.

🔍 Information Details
⏱️ Preparation time 15 minutes
🍳 Cooking time 45-90 minutes (depending on the type of legumes)
⏲️ Total time 1 hour to 1 hour 45 minutes
🔧 Difficulty level Easy
🍽️ Servings 4 people
🔥 Calories (approximate) Variable

Versatile Dahl Recipe


  • 1 cup lentils (coral, green, brown) or other legumes (split peas, chickpeas)
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups water or broth
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Fresh coriander to garnish


This dahl is an extremely versatile dish, perfect for adapting to different preferences and ingredient availability. It can be served with rice, Indian bread, or even as a thick soup.


Q&A for Dahl's Recipe

Q1: What is dahl? A1: Dahl is a traditional Indian dish made from lentils or other legumes. It is known for its rich flavors, brought by a blend of spices and herbs, and for its comforting texture.

Q2: What varieties of lentils can be used to make dahl? A2: You can use different varieties of lentils for dahl, including red, green, brown lentils, as well as split peas or chickpeas. Each variety brings a unique texture and taste to the dish.

Q3: Is it necessary to soak lentils before cooking dahl? A3: It depends on the type of lenses. Red lentils and split peas do not require soaking, but chickpeas should be soaked overnight.

Q4: What is tadka and how is it used in dahl? A4: Tadka is an Indian cooking technique which involves heating spices in oil or ghee to release their aromas. In dahl, tadka is often added at the end of cooking to intensify the flavors.

Q5: Can we prepare the dahl in advance? A5: Yes, dahl keeps very well and may even be tastier the next day. You can prepare it in advance and reheat it before serving.

Q6: Is dahl suitable for a vegetarian diet? A6: Absolutely, dahl is a vegetarian dish par excellence, rich in protein and fiber, which makes it very nutritious.

Q7: What are the best accompaniments for dahl? A7: Dahl pairs perfectly with basmati rice, Indian breads like naan or roti, and a variety of vegetables. You can also serve it with plain yogurt or fresh cilantro to add freshness.

Q8: Can meat or fish be added to dahl? A8: Traditionally, dahl is a vegetarian dish, but it can be accompanied by meat or fish if desired. Chicken, lamb or light fish can be served on the side or integrated into the dish for a non-vegetarian version.

Q9: Are there variations of dahl for special diets, such as vegan or gluten-free? A9: Dahl is naturally gluten-free and can easily be adapted for a vegan diet by using oil instead of ghee. Just make sure all other ingredients comply with these diets.

Q10: What spices can be added to vary the taste of the dahl? A10: Besides basic spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric, you can experiment with cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, or chili pepper to personalize your dahl.

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1 comment

Recette à essayer… J’en ai l’eau à la bouche juste a la lire…😋😋😋

Nathalie Belanger

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