Cook's Hideout: Masoor Dal Sambar (Indian Style Red Lentil Stew)

October 10, 2012

Masoor Dal Sambar (Indian Style Red Lentil Stew)

VeganMofo Day 10: I had plans to post everyday for this year's Veganmofo. So much for my wishful thinking, little did I realize that tending for a newborn can be so time consuming, even though all I'm doing is holding her so she doesn't spit up or rocking her to sleep. It's been 5 years since we had done this with my older one and I don't really remember what we did when he was a little baby. Time surely flies..

Thankfully my mom is here to help me out and for today's post I have this delicious Masoor dal Sambar that she made for our lunch. I usually use toor dal to make sambar. Masoor dal makes a smoother and milder tasting sambar. Vegetables like eggplant, bottle gourd, carrot, potato, chayote etc can be added to the sambar to make it more substantial.

Masoor Dal - ½cup
Onion - 1 medium, thinly sliced
Tomato - 1 medium, chopped
Turmeric - ¼tsp
Sambar powder - 2tsp (homemade or store bought, I use 777 brand sambar powder)
Tamarind paste - 3tbsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves - 2tbsp, finely chopped

For Tempering:
Fenugreek seeds - 1/8tsp
Urad dal - 1tsp
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Dry Red Chili - 2
Hing (Asafoetida) - ¼tsp
Curry Leaves - 6-8

  • Pressure cook masoor dal (red lentils) until very tender and mushy.
  • Heat 2tsp oil in a sauce pan, add the tempering ingredients and once the seeds start to splutter, add the onions and saute until lightly browned around the edges.
  • Next add the tomatoes and cook covered until mushy.
  • Add tamarind paste, sambar powder and turmeric, cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cooked dal along with 1-2 cups of water and salt; bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Adjust seasoning.
  • Serve with rice or idlis or dosas.



  1. I often make it this way as arhar dal is not very common in Bengali households. we love masoor dal and am salivating at the pictures.

  2. I am gonna try this as I love masoor daal!

  3. i make it with arhaar to must try with masoor

    1. Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.


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