Indian Red Lentil Dhal

By Emily Rogers, RDN

This recipe is a great source of low-fat plant-based protein. Rich in flavor and nutrients and easy to make. It also provides about 1/3 of the dietary fiber needs for the day. It can be served with whole wheat bread, a more traditional Indian bread, brown rice, quinoa, or any other whole grains. Or, it can be eaten by itself.



  1. Combine cumin, mustard, and fennel seeds into a large sauce pan and toast on medium heat until fragrant (~ 1 minute). Add the chopped onion, minced garlic and 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth and cook until the broth evaporates. Add the drained diced tomatoes and cook until soft.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the salt, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils are soft to your taste (~ 25 minutes)
  3. If using a slow cooker do step 1 separately in a small pan, transfer to the slow cooker along with the other ingredients and cook for 4 to 6 hours on “low” or 2 to 3 hours on “high”.
  4. After the lentils are cooked, add salt to taste.
  5. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container, for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months.