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.
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 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.
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.
- red chili
- Indian curry powder
- 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:
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)
- 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.
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!
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.
Red Lentil Dal
- medium or large pot
- 2 cups dried red lentils sorted and rinsed
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 2 onion finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves pressed
- 2 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 red chili finely diced
- 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 chopped
- 200 gram baby spinach
Meal Prep Bowls
- 6 cups cooked basmati rice
- 1 handful coriander leaves
- 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
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!
More Vegan Meal Prep Recipes:
- Vegan Tuna Pasta Bake – GF!
- Rice Vermicelli Noodle Bowls With Peanut Sauce
- Palak Tofu – Vegan Palak Paneer