Akkha masoor dal (whole red lentils dal)

Akkha masoor dal recipe is a very appetizing dish and is a very uncomplicated recipe. This dish is my personal favorite its medium spicy and very filling and also very easy to prepare. Also one doesn’t need to prepare any additional spicy side dish as this dish is filling and flavorful enough. Akkha masoor dal can be eaten either with rice Steamed rice recipe or Jeera rice recipe or roti. It tastes best with ghee laden rotis with raw onions and mango pickle on the side.

This Akkha masoor dal recipe is a very uncomplicated recipe with just three steps to be followed , where you have to pre cook the dal then make the gravy paste and assemble both these things together and cook them till they are combined well .

This dish can be had for either for breakfast with rotis Easiest everyday Roti recipe (Whole wheat flat bread) or with rice for lunch and dinner

Ingredients to make akkha masoor dal

  • Akha masoor(whole red lentils) – 1 cup
  • Onions – 1 medium sized chopped
  • Tomatoes – 1 medium sized chopped
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Kasuri methi leaves(optional) – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – about 6 to 7 leaves (these are a must to this recipe)
  • Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste 


To pre cook the akkha masoor dal

Wash akha masoor dal or whole red lentil thoroughly with water atleast thrice . Washing the lentils is important to get rid of any dust particles.

Take a pressure cooker and put the clean and washed 1 cup of whole red lentil that is akkha masoor dal and then pressure cook it with about one glass of water till 3 to 4 whistles.

Once it is cooked take it off the stove and let it cool down completely and then open the lid .

To make the gravy for the dal.

Meanwhile in a deep vessel or a saucepan add two tablespoons of oil and let it heat up

Then lower the temperature of the stove and add in 6 to 7 curry leaves, curry leaves is an important ingredient in this recipe because the flavor of curry leaves give it a very distinct taste, the main flavor of this recipe lies in the addition of the curry leaves, break the curry leaves roughly into your hands right before adding it in the vessel to cook, let them splutter for about 3 to 5 seconds .

Make sure not to burn them. That’s why keep the flame on low , and let them slightly splutter and change color

Then quickly add in one medium sized chopped onion, and cook them till golden brown , keep stirring the onions so that they don’t burn

Cook the onions properly. Because if you immediately go on adding the next ingredients, the onions won’t get properly cooked, and would give no flavor to the dal and will remain raw towards the end we don’t want that , that why cook the onions very well till they turn light golden brown in color.

Once the onions turn light brown add in the one medium sized chopped tomato and stir. Cook it till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.

Cover and cook the tomatoes for about 2 to 3 minutes , open the lid and stir the tomatoes should start leaving oil on the sides that’s when you know the rawness is gone and the tomatoes are cooked properly . stir them in between we don’t wan to burn them but also cook them evenly . so mix them well on medium to high heat and let them cook properly.

Once the tomatoes turn soft you can now add the powdered spices.

Adding the powdered spices to the dal

Add in one teaspoon turmeric powder, two teaspoons of red chilli powder, one teaspoon garam masala powder and about one teaspoon of kasuri methi leaves (that is dried fenugreek leaves) and sauté theses powdered spices for about a minute. Keep stirring them so that they are cooked properly and don’t get burned for about two to three minutes

Keep stirring it so that the spices don’t stick to the bottom of the pan, and also get cooked evenly in the vessel. cooking the spices well till their raw flavor goes away is important as they would give nice flavor aroma and taste to the dish. Cook it well till the onions, tomatoes, and the powdered spices when mixed together form a paste like consistency

 If you think that the spices are sticking to the bottom of the pan you can add 1 tbsp of water and mix well . keep mixing till all the water in the masala paste dries up . once the water in the spice paste  dries up and the powdered spices form a paste and leave oil on the sides and the onion and tomatoes are cooked properly, it’s now time to add the cooked dal in the vessel.

Adding the cooked dal to the gravy

And then add the cooked akkha masoor dal or red lentils to to the spice paste gravy and mix well

Mix it well with the spices well so that the dal is coated well with the gravy paste.

To this, now add in one and a half glass of water, to give it a boil , so that the lentils and the spice mixture get properly combined.

Combining them is important. It wont take much time, but it is a crucial step. So that the dal would get combined, in the spicy flavors of the gravy, and enhance its flavor

Boil it for about five minutes or till it reaches a semi liquid thick consistency.

Adjust the consistency as you like. This dal curry is neither too thin nor too thick. It has semi liquid thick consistency.

Add one teaspoon of salt, you can adjust the salt as you like. And you may garnish it with a handful of chopped coriander leaves.

Once the dal becomes of semi-thick consistency it’s ready to be served with rice or roti.

You can also serve some roasted papads and raw mango pickle with it.