Red Lentil Dal – Quick & Easy

This Red Lentil Dal is the perfect big batch dish. Cook it ahead of time, have meals for the next few days, and stock up your freezer. It’s comforting, fragrant, and packed with protein.

red lentil dal

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This post is all about Red Lentil Dal!

What Is Red Lentil Dal?

Dal, derived from the Sanskrit word that means “to split”, is a collective term for pulses – lentils, peas, and beans. They are usually served in a soft, porridge-like stew that’s also called dal! It’s one of the most widespread and traditional daily foods across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh!

Red lentils are deep pinkish-orange split lentils that turn into a golden color once cooked. When red lentils are cooked into a soft stew, the dish is called red lentil dal.

This Red Lentil Dal is the vegan meal prep-inspired take on this dish!

Ingredients You Will Need

red lentil dal ingredients

Red Lentils

Red lentils are a quick-cooking pulse, which I love using in hearty stews that need to come together quickly. They break down and become soft while cooking and have a mild nutty and subtly sweet flavor.

Rani Masoor Dal (Indian Red Lentils) Split Gram, 64oz (4lbs) 1.81kg ~ All Natural Gluten Friendly NON-GMO Vegan Indian Origin
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Aromatics And Spices

Aromatics, and spices are at the heart of Indian cuisine. So, this Indian-inspired meal prep recipe of course boasts a bunch of them. Most of them are easily available at grocery stores here in South Africa, and I assume worldwide.

I will link to online options at Amazon and at Faithful To Nature (RSA only!), whenever available.

Rani Curry Powder Mild (10-Spice Authentic Indian Blend) 14oz (400g) ~ All Natural Salt-Free NO Chili or Peppers Vegan No Colors Gluten Friendly
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Rani Black Mustard Seeds Whole Spice (Kali Rai) 14oz (400g) ~ All Natural Gluten Friendly NON-GMO Vegan Indian Origin
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McCormick_Gourmet_Organic_Ground_Coriander_1.25_oz
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McCormick Gourmet Organic Ground Cumin, 1.5 oz
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  • salt

Fresh Vegetables

  • tomato
  • baby spinach

My Favourite Meal Prep Container For Red Lentil Dal

For meals that need to be reheated, such as red lentil dal, I love using glass meal prep containers!

My favorite glass meal prep container:

LocknLock_Purely_Better_Glass_Food_Storage_Container_with_Lid_21_Ounce_Clear
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Benefits of glass meal prep containers:

  • Reheat friendly (microwave and oven safe)
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Doesn’t stain or absorb smells
  • Suitable for tableware (it looks neat enough to serve and eat out of)
  • Durable
  • If they have a lid with snap-lock, they are usually 100% airtight and leak-proof
  • Safer for the environment compared to plastic containers

How To Make Red Lentil Dal

1. Cook Lentils

Add lentils and water to a large-sized pot! Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer. Skim off any foam that collects on top. Cook, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, for about 15-20 minutes.

2. Sauté Aromatics, Spices And Tomatoes

Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and add the oil, onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, and a pinch of salt. Sauté until soft, for about 5 minutes. Add the spices and more salt, stir to combine, and continue to sauté for about 60 seconds. Then add the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are saucy!

3. Infuse Lentils With Flavor

Once the lentils are cooked, add the sauce to the lentils and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes to infuse with flavor! Then add the baby spinach and stir until wilted.

how to make red lentil dal

4. Time To Portion Out The Lentil Dal

The Lentil Dal pairs wonderfully with basmati rice or any grain of your choice.

Divide the Lentil Dal, and basmati rice among 3 meal prep containers. Garnish with some fresh coriander! Store in the fridge for up to four days!

easy vegan meal prep ideas

Red Lentil Dal: FAQs

Do dried lentils need to be soaked?

Lentils can be soaked before cooking, but it is not required. Especially split lentils, such as red lentils, cook quickly and digest easily without any soaking. You should however sort and rinse your lentils well, before cooking.

Is dal rich in protein?

Yes, dal is considered a good source of protein. One serving of red lentil dal contains 15.5 g of protein. Dal is also considered a good source of fibre and contains a variety of micro nutritients.

Are red lentils the same as brown lentils?

Fun fact!! Red lentils are just brown lentils with the shell.

easy vegan meal prep ideas
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5 from 1 vote

Red Lentil Dal

This Red Lentil Dal is the perfect big batch dish. Cook it ahead of time, have meals for the next few days, and stock up your freezer. It's comforting, fragrant, and packed with protein.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian-inspired, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword red lentil dal, vegan lentil dal
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 meals
Calories 500kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Meal Prep Bowls

  • 6 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 1 handful coriander leaves

Instructions

  • Cook lentils: Add lentils and water to a large-sized pot! Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer. Skim off any foam that collects on top. Cook, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, for about 15-20 minutes.
    2 cups dried red lentils, 8 cups water
  • Saute Aromatics, Spices, And Tomatoes: Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and add the oil, onion, garlic, ginger, chili, and a pinch of salt. Saute until soft, for about 5 minutes. Add the spices and more salt, stir to combine, and continue to saute for about 60 seconds. Then add the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are saucy!
    2 tablespoon olive oil, 2 onion, 6 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoon fresh ginger, 2 red chili, 4 teaspoon Indian curry powder, 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1.5 teaspoon salt, 1.5 cup tomato
  • Infuse Lentils With Flavor: Once the lentils are cooked, add the sauce to the lentils and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes to infuse with flavor! Then add the baby spinach and stir until wilted.
    200 gram baby spinach
  • Time To Portion Out The Lentil Dal: The Lentil Dal pairs wonderfully with basmati rice or any grain of your choice.
    Divide the Lentil Dal, and basmati rice among 3 meal prep containers. Garnish with some fresh coriander! Store in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to six months!
    6 cups cooked basmati rice, 1 handful coriander leaves

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 634mg | Potassium: 1007mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3552IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 6mg

Did you meal prep this Red Lentil Dal? Don’t forget to let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag @vegan_meal_prep_sunday on Instagram so I can see!

This post was all about Red Lentil Dal!

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