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.
Nutrition Facts
Serving size 1 cup
Amount per serving
Calories 210
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.5 2
Saturated Fat 0 0
Cholesterol 0 0
Sodium 500 22
Total Carbohydrate 34 12
Dietary Fiber 8 29
Total Sugars 3
Incl. 0 Added Sugars 0
Protein 15
Vitamin D 0 0
Calcium 44 4
Iron 4 20
Potassium 33 0
*The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet, 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.