Bengali Masoor Dal

5 from 3 votes

Make this Bengali Masoor Dal for a comforting meal and serve it with steamed rice and a dry sabji on the side. Here is how to make it (vegan, gluten-free).

Bengali masoor dal served in a bowl.
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About Bengali Masoor Dal

Dal is a staple in every Indian household. Each region has its own set of dal recipes, which vary in taste and ingredients.

This Bengali Masoor Dal Recipe is the Bengali way of cooking red lentils (pink masoor dal). It has a distinct and unique taste due to mustard oil and panch phoran spice mix.

This lentil curry is best served with steamed white rice, some dry sabji, and a papad on the side. Do not forget to drizzle a dollop of ghee on top to make it slightly indulgent.

You can also make a No Onion No Garlic masoor dal version (niramish), by skipping the onions. Instead, you can add tomato to the dal while boiling, which will add a tangy taste to the Dal.

This recipe is vegan and gluten-free. You can easily double or triple the recipe.

I make this recipe in my 3-liter pressure cooker or a 3-quart instant pot. To scale the recipe, use a bigger cooker or instant pot. The cooking time will remain the same.

If you are someone who loves to explore new cuisines, then try more Bengali recipes.

Ingredients

Bengali masoor dal ingredients list 1
Bengali masoor dal ingredients list 2

For The Dal – To cook the dal, you will need pink masoor dal (red lentils), water, salt, and turmeric powder.

For Tempering – To temper the dal, you will need mustard oil, bay leaves (tejpatta), dry red chilies, panch phoran spice mix, onions, and cilantro (fresh coriander leaves).

Mustard oil gives a very unique and authentic taste to the dal. But if you don’t prefer mustard oil, you can use any neutral-flavored cooking oil or ghee.

You can make Panch Phoran at home or use a store-bought one

How To Make Bengali Masoor Dal

Cook The Dal

In A Stovetop Pressure Cooker

Wash 1 cup red lentils (pink masoor dal) well with water 2-3 times. 

Lentils soaked in water.

Drain the water and add the dal to a pressure cooker.

Add

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 and ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder

to the cooker and stir gently.

Soaked lentils, water, salt and turmeric powder added to a pressure cooker.

Close the lid. Pressure cook for one whistle on high heat.

Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.

Pressure cooking the dal.

Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally.

Open the lid and whisk the dal well using a wire whisk.

Add some boiling water if the dal is thick for your liking.

Cooked masoor dal.
Whisked masoor dal.

In An Instant Pot

Add the rinsed dal to the instant pot along with 3 cups of water, 1 and ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder to the cooker and stir gently.

Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.

Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 8 mins on high pressure.

Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.

Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the valve to the venting position.

Open the lid and whisk the cooked dal using a wire whisk.

Add some boiling water if the dal is thick for your liking.

Temper The Dal

Heat 2 tablespoon mustard oil in a small pan.

Once the oil is hot, add

  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 2 whole dry red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon panch phoran

and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.

Bay leaves, panch phoron and dry red chilies added to hot mustard oil.

Add ½ cup sliced onions and fry on medium heat until onions turn golden brown (5-6 mins), stirring frequently.

Sliced onions added to the pan.
Onions fried until golden brown.

Pour the tempering over the dal and mix well.

Tempering poured over the dal.

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Garnish with 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro and serve hot.

Bengali masoor dal garnished with chopped cilantro.

Pro Tips By Neha

You can skip the onion and make plain masoor dal for a No Onion No Garlic version.

Add ¼ cup sliced tomato while pressure cooking the dal for a taste change.

Temper the dal only with mustard oil, to give it that authentic Bengali taste.

Use fresh homemade panch phoran masala for the best taste.

Add more water if you like thinner dal.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Bengali style masoor dal along with steamed rice, sliced onions, and papad on the side. While cooking the rice, you can add a few halved potatoes and serve them along.

You can also serve it with phulka, tawa paratha, and a dry sabzi (torkari) on the side for everyday meals. In summer, you can also serve raita with the meal.

Squeeze a lime wedge over the dal just before serving for a refreshing taste.

Storage Suggestions

Bengali-style masoor dal will last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.

Reheat it in a pan or microwave before serving again. If you feel it has become thick while refrigerating, add hot water and heat it properly.

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Make this Bengali Masoor Dal for a comforting meal and serve it with steamed rice and a dry sabji on the side. Here is how to make it (vegan, gluten-free).
5 from 3 votes

Bengali Masoor Dal Recipe

Make this Bengali Masoor Dal for a comforting meal and serve it with steamed rice and a dry sabji on the side. Here is how to make it.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup pink masoor dal
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 2 whole bay leaves (tejpatta)
  • 2 whole dry red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon panch phoran
  • ½ cup sliced onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
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Instructions 

Cook The Dal

    In A Stovetop Pressure Cooker

    • Wash the lentils well with water 2-3 times. 
    • Drain the water and add the dal to a pressure cooker.
    • Add 4 cups of water, salt, and turmeric powder to the cooker and stir gently.
    • Close the lid. Pressure cook for one whistle on high heat.
    • Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.
    • Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally.
    • Open the lid and whisk the dal well using a wire whisk.
    • Add some boiling water if the dal is thick for your liking.

    In An Instant Pot

    • Add the rinsed dal to the instant pot along with 3 cups of water, salt, and turmeric powder to the cooker and stir gently.
    • Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.
    • Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 8 mins on high pressure.
    • Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
    • Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the valve to the venting position.
    • Open the lid and whisk the cooked dal using a wire whisk.
    • Add some boiling water if the dal is thick for your liking.

    Temper The Dal

    • Heat mustard oil in a small pan.
    • Once the oil is hot, add bay leaves, dry red chilies, and panch phoran and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
    • Add onions and fry on medium heat until onions turn golden brown (5-6 mins), stirring frequently.
    • Pour the tempering over the dal and mix well.
    • Check for salt and add more if needed.
    • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    You can skip the onion and make plain masoor dal for a No Onion No Garlic version.
    Add ¼ cup sliced tomato while pressure cooking the dal for a taste change.
    Temper the dal only with mustard oil, to give it that authentic Bengali taste.
    Use fresh homemade panch phoran masala for the best taste.
    Add more water if you like thinner dal.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 230kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 8mg, Potassium: 466mg, Fiber: 14g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 31IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 4mg
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