Fat-Free Red Lentil Dal

Red Lentil Dal from Carrie on Vegan.

Summer is here, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop cooking. I like using the crock-pot when temperatures heat up, because it means I don’t have to heat up my kitchen with the stove or the oven.

And, even though I love my cold salads even more in the summertime, I do like the heartiness of a cooked, nourishing meal for dinner.

This Indian-inspired Dal is super easy to make. I do recommend water-sauteing the vegetables before adding them to the pot, but that step could be left out if you were really short on time:

Red Lentil Dal from Carrie on Vegan.

Red lentils look like this:

Red Lentil Dal from Carrie on Vegan.

I like to cook this on low for five hours. You could use a regular pot on the stove if you wanted, it would probably need to simmer for about 30-40 minutes:

Red Lentil Dal from Carrie on Vegan.

Also, just to note, you can adjust the spices according to what you have in your pantry. If you are missing one, just leave it out or add more of another. I do recommend using garam masala or curry, though, that’s what adds the Indian flavor to this recipe.

Here is the recipe:

Red Lentil Dal
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 6
  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon no-salt seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bunch scallions (green onions), chopped
  1. Chop carrots into 1-inch pieces. Chop onion and tomato. Slice bell peppers. Mince garlic.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of water. Add carrots, onion, tomato, bell peppers, and garlic, and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or until vegetables have softened.
  3. Rinse and drain lentils and pick through for any debris.
  4. Combine carrots, onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, lentils, water, cumin, no-salt seasoning, dried oregano, turmeric, ground ginger, garam masala, and cayenne pepper in a slow-cooker. Set to low and cook for on low for at least 5 hours or until lentils are softened.
  5. Top with chopped green onions. As an option, serve over cooked brown rice or fresh salad greens with a dollop of dairy-free yogurt.

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  1. Diane says

    I’m uber jealous and wish I was there for the San Diego event! But, perhaps another time when he’s on the east coast. 🙁

  2. Robyn :) says

    I have some red lentils I bought from the WF bulk bins!! Maybe I will make this tomorrow when we have our church missionaries for dinner 😉

    My cat sleeps like that, too.

    • says

      Cool, Robyn, let me know what you think! Also, btw, are you still coming to Pasadena in a few weeks? Want to try and get together?

  3. says

    Carrie, I totally agree about the crockpot. I’ve also been using mine a lot lately since it’s been hot. It’s usually my lazy way to cook beans so they are ready for dinner. I’ll have to start getting a little more creative by cooking your dal recipe. Love your app!

  4. ChelseaT says

    I had been wanting to make dal for a long time, was so happy to find this recipe! I ended up needing to cook it for 8-10 hours instead (since I could not precook the veggies). To make this closer to my (picky) taste, I doubled the amount of garam masala and added 1/2 can of cocunut milk at the end. It was no longer fat-free, but perfect!

  5. Jordan says

    I’m so excited about this! So simple and very little time investment. I’ve a 2 month old and my SO is working alot, so finding time to cook is challenging. Your crock pot recipes wash this huge sense of relief over me!


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