Vegetable Dhal Curry is a mild, nutritious and delicious Indian dish which is enhanced with a garlicky Coriander Yogurt Dressing. The addition of fresh ginger, spices, tomatoes, potatoes, green bell pepper and peas or sweetcorn make this a healthy and tasty meal the whole family will love!
What is Dhal (dal, dahl, daal)?
Dal can refer to the dried, split pulses used in Indian cuisine that don’t need soaking prior to cooking. Red split lentils fall into this category and are known as Masoor Dal.
The term is also used for spiced dishes prepared from these pulses
Red Lentil Dahl recipe variations
To ring the changes you could:
- Add chopped chilli to add more heat.
- Use a hot curry powder to add more heat.
- Stir in some spinach leaves towards the end of cooking.
- In place of potato add sweet potato.
- Use a different coloured bell pepper.
- Use frozen broad beans or edamame beans in place of peas or sweetcorn.
- Add some coconut milk powder for a creamier daal.
Why you’ll love this Dhal Curry recipe?
- You can eat dahl as a main course or side dish to other curries.
- Even young kids will like it as it’s so mild.
- It’s versatile, as you can chop and change the vegetables you use and make the dal as mild or hot as you like.
- Red lentils are rich in protein, fibre and a good source of B vitamins and iron so added to the vegetables in this dal curry, it makes for a really nutritious meal.
- It’s easy to make.
- Suitable for most diets!
- Budget friendly and filling. Red lentils are cheap (especially if you buy them from the world food aisle in your supermarket).
- Great student food.
- Perfect for batch cooking and freezing in individual portions.
- Vegetable Dal is vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.
- The coriander yogurt dressing can be made vegan by using a vegan plain or Greek style yogurt.
- If you are trying to appeal to young children try chopping the vegetables into fairly small chunks rather than larger ones. Instead of slicing the onion you can dice it. (Which is what I did in the finished photos).
- Dal is great for people who have had oral surgery or a brace fitted. You could liquidise this vegetable dhal to make it easier to eat.
Do you need to soak red lentils?
There’s no need to soak red lentils, just give them a good rinse in a sieve and agitate until the water runs clear.
Can you make Dhal ahead of time?
Yes, dhal is very versatile and reheats beautifully.
How long will the Coriander Yogurt Dressing keep?
The dressing is best used within 2 days due to the fresh coriander leaves in it.
Freezing and Storage Tips
As with most leftovers Dal will keep in the fridge for 3 – 4 days without risk of food poisoning.
Just put it in suitable container or bowl and cover as soon as it has cooled, then place in the fridge. To save the planet from plastic pollution I simply put a plate on top of a bowl.
You can also freeze Indian dal curry leftovers on the same day that you make it. Pop into a reusable plastic container or smaller containers once cool and freeze for up to 3 months.
To use just thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat.
You can serve Vegetable Dal with various Indian accompaniments:
- Basmati Rice
- Roti or naan bread (flatbreads)
- Mango Chutney (my recipe)
- Coriander (Cilantro) Yogurt Dressing (in this recipe)
More Vegan & Vegetarian Curry Recipes
Once you’ve tried my Indian dhal recipe you should check out the following recipes too!
- Mushroom, Spinach & Chickpea Curry
- Egg, Leek & Potato Curry
- Mixed Vegetable Curry
- Slow Cooker Malaysian Vegetable Curry
- Quick Curried Cauliflower Soup
- Curried Pumpkin Soup
- 5 Minute Curried Tomato Soup
More Red Lentil (dhal) recipes
- Slow Cooked Beef & Butternut Squash
- Lamb, Vegetable and Lentil Soup with Cabbage
- Glenda’s Winter Lentil Soup
How do you make Vegetable Dhal Curry?
First add water, grated ginger, ground cumin, ground turmeric, grated fresh turmeric and salt to a pan and bring to the boil.
Add lentils, simmer for 5 minutes and then add diced potato & continue to simmer.
Meanwhile fry cumin seeds for 30 seconds.
Add the sliced onion & pepper and fry until browned.
Add the curry powder, garlic and chopped tomatoes cooking for 1 minute.
Add the fried vegetables & sweetcorn to the dhal and cook for 5 – 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Dinner is ready!
Have you enjoyed this recipe?
My family love this Vegetable Dhal Curry so I’m sure you will too! Do leave a comment and rating below when you make it.
You can also share your dal curry with me by tagging @FabFood4All on Instagram or other social media! I love seeing my recipes come to life.
Pin for later!
Originally published 18/10/2012 – updated 21/01/22
Vegetable Dhal Curry
- 1 cook's knife
- 1 Chopping Board
- 1 Set measuring spoons
- 1 Measuring jug
- 1 Garlic crusher
- 1 Grater (Microplane)
- 1 Deep non-stick frying pan or work
- 1 Wooden spoon
- 225 g / 8oz red lentils
- 10 g / 0.5oz fresh ginger finely grated
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 small finger fresh turmeric finely grated (optional)
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and diced
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 onion large, peeled and sliced
- 1 green pepper small, deseeded and chopped
- 1 - 2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 4 tomatoes chopped
- 90 g / 3oz frozen sweetcorn or peas
- salt flakes
- 125 g Greek style yogurt or vegan Greek style yogurt full fat
- 1 tablespoon fresh or frozen coriander finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 pinch salt flakes
- Put 850ml (1 ½ pints) of water in a saucepan or wok and add grated ginger, ground cumin, grated turmeric (if using), ground turmeric and 1tsp of salt then bring to the boil.
- Add washed lentils (agitate in a sieve with running water) and bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Then add the diced potato and cook until the lentils turn mushy, about 25 minutes (stirring at intervals to stop the mixture sticking).
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and fry the cumin seeds for 30 seconds or until browned and fragrant.
- Add onion and pepper and fry over a fairly high heat until the onion has browned.
- Lower the heat and add the Madras curry powder, garlic and chopped tomatoes.
- Cook for a minute and then add to the lentil mixture, taste, season with more salt and add the sweetcorn or peas.
- Cook gently for a further 5-10 minutes under a lid until the sweetcorn/peas are cooked.
- Mix the Greek yogurt, chopped coriander, crushed garlic and salt together to make the dressing.
- Serve with Basmati rice or roti and top with the yogurt dressing. Mango chutney goes really well too!
You could also have this as a side dish to a meat curry.