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Masoor Dal Recipe - Red Lentil Curry
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5 from 5 votes

Red Lentil Curry Recipe

This masoor dal recipe (red lentil curry) is a curry lover's dream, with nutty red lentils, hearty potatoes and lots of curry seasoning. Huge on flavor. So easy to spice it up!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Indian
Keyword: curry, lentils, spicy, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 476kcal


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or use coconut oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped (use bell pepper for milder heat)
  • 1 large potato chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes or more to taste!
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 14 ounces chopped tomato or use chopped fresh tomato
  • 2 cups water or more as needed – or use vegetable broth
  • 14 ounces coconut milk 1 can
  • 1 cup red lentils masoor dal

FOR SERVING: Cooked rice, fresh chopped herbs, spicy chili flakes, sliced peppers


    • Heat the oil in a large pot to medium heat.
    • Add the onion, peppers and potato. Stir and cook them down 5 minutes to soften.
    • Add the ginger and garlic and stir. Cook for 1 minute, until you can smell that gorgeous garlic.
    • Add the curry paste, curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, chili flakes, mustard seeds, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
    • Add the chopped tomato, water, coconut milk and red lentils. Stir.
    • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils soften and all of the flavors combine. If the curry is too thick, add in a bit more water.
    • Serve with rice and garnish!



    • Heat Factor. Mild-Medium. You'll get some big flavor here, but not a whole lot of heat. You can very easily spice things up with hotter peppers, such as a serrano pepper or habanero pepper or other spicy red peppers. Or, use spicy chili flakes, chili powder, or your favorite spicy curry seasoning blend, like vindaloo curry powder.
    • The Seasonings. I like to use a lot of seasoning, as you'll find with most of my recipes. I use both a homemade red curry paste and my own homemade curry powder blend, along with a few other seasonings to round things out. If you're concerned about too much seasoning, use only the curry paste or the powder along with cayenne, mustard seeds, salt and pepper.
    • Scale It Up. This recipe can easily accommodate double the potato and lentils. Just be sure to add in enough liquid for the lentils and potatoes to absorb. Great for serving a crowd.
    • Variations. I make this with potato, as potato is nice and filling and it absorbs all that wonderful curry flavor. It's also great with sweet potato or butternut squash. Try it with chickpeas or other beans. You can also make a non-vegetarian version with chicken, beef, pork or seafood, like shrimp, white fish or salmon.


    Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 1180mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1761IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 11mg