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Tomato lentil dal is a bowl of pure comfort, nutritious, delicious and ultimately reassuring flavour-filled food.

Tomato Lentil Dal



A comforting bowl of tomato and red lentil dal. We adore this dish it is perfect on its own, topped with fresh tomatoes, coconut yoghurt and fresh coriander leaves or as a tasty accompaniment to more curry dishes. Easy to make and full of warming spices, ginger, chilli (optional depending on if you or your kids like heat), fresh and tinned tomatoes. We make tomato lentil dal in large batches and freeze for those days when you desire nourishing food but do not have the will to create it.

Should you soak the lentils or cook them?

For our version of the tomato lentil dal, we decided to soak the lentils in boiled water for at least 30 minutes and then wash them. This avoids having to cook the lentils and then scoop off the foamy scum that forms when lentils are boiled in a pan. Different cooks are various methods but this works best for our recipe and is easier.


Include more vegetables

Include more vegetables in the recipe and use what you have or what is in season, we often add a diced courgette in with the peppers.


Batch Cooking & Home Freezing

There could not be a better dish for making double batches of and freezing in portion sizes. Like our vegan chilli, this is a recipe that improves with rest and freezing.


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lentil dal

Tomato Lentil Dal

  • Author: Healthy Twists
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Meals
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan


A simple bowl of tomato lentil dal is undeniably comforting. Reassuring flavours and ideal for batch cooking, freezing and sharing.


1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

40g fresh ginger, grated

1 carrot, finely diced

1 sweet/bell red pepper finely diced

1 tbsp. ground garam masala

1 tbsp. mild/medium/hot curry powder

1 tbsp. tomato puree

1 red chilli, finely chopped – optional

250g dried red lentils, soaked in water, drained & rinsed

650ml vegetable stock/hot water

1x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1x 400g tin coconut milk

½ juice fresh lemon

A good pinch of salt

Few twists of black pepper

4 kaffir lime leaves

10 baby plum tomatoes, quartered

To serve

Spoonful coconut yoghurt

Few leaves fresh coriander

Fresh tomatoes


Tip the dried red lentils into a bowl and pour over enough boiled water to cover them. Leave the lentils to soak for at least 30 minutes, then drain and rinse.

Warm a large high-sided pan over medium heat, then add the oil to warm.

Tip in the onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion starts to soften as they start to soften add the carrot and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger and stir through the vegetables.

Spoon in the garam masala, curry powder, tomato puree and red chilli (if using). Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes -until you can smell the spice aroma.

Tip the drained red lentils into the pan, stir and pour over the liquid stock/water, tinned tomatoes and coconut milk.  Pop in the kaffir lime leaves and a good pinch of salt, grind of black pepper and then simmer, leaving the spoon in and the lid on partially ajar until the lentils are cooked. Stir occasionally so the dal doesn’t stick to the base of the pan.

Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir through gently cook for about 35 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally and that the longer and slower you cook the dal the better it will be.



Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt, fresh coriander leaves and chopped tomatoes or along with flatbread.

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat within 3 days or freeze.

Keywords: lentil dal, tomato, comfort

Tomato lentil dal


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  1. Aileen Melia

    November 18, 2021

    So delicious and so easy. I added courgette too.will definitely be making this again for my family !

    • Claire Swift

      November 19, 2021

      Thanks, Aileen, delighted you are all enjoying it!

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