Photo of Red Lentil Dal with Cumin Oil by WW

Red Lentil Dal with Cumin Oil

Points® value
Total Time
50 min
10 min
40 min
Red lentils (which are a lovely salmon colour when dry) don't require any soaking before cooking, and they break down as they cook to produce a thick porridge-like texture. Cooked with a good bit of ground turmeric, they take on an earthy flavour and lovely golden colour. A finishing oil of cumin seeds toasted in oil with garlic lends depth to the finished dish. We serve the dal with brown basmati rice (look for pre-cooked brown basmati for convenience), but you can also enjoy it on its own, like a thick soup.


Cooking spray

4 spray(s)


1 cup(s), chopped


4 clove(s), large, minced and divided


1 cup(s), finely chopped

Ground turmeric

¾ tsp(s)

Dry lentils

1 cup(s), red variety, rinsed and drained

Kosher salt

1 tsp(s)

Canola oil

2 tbsp(s)

Cumin seeds

1 tsp(s)


¼ cup(s), chopped

Cooked long grain brown rice

2 cup(s), basmati-variety


  1. Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and half of the garlic; cook until the onion just begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and turmeric; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the lentils, salt, and 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer until thick, about 30 minutes. Spoon into a serving bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the cumin seeds and remaining half of garlic; cook until the garlic is barely golden, about 2 minutes. Drizzle the oil over the lentil mixture and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with rice.
  3. Serving size: 1/2 cup rice and about 3/4 cup dal.