Photo of Red lentil dal with cumin oil by WW

Red lentil dal with cumin oil

SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
50 min
10 min
40 min
Red lentils (which are a lovely salmon color 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 flavor and lovely golden color. 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 precooked brown basmati for convenience), but you can also enjoy it on its own, like a thick soup.


Cooking spray

4 spray(s)

Uncooked onion(s)

1 cup(s), chopped

Garlic clove(s)

4 medium clove(s), minced and divided

Fresh tomato(es)

1 cup(s), finely chopped

Ground turmeric

¾ tsp

Dry lentils

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

Kosher salt

1 tsp

Canola oil

2 Tbsp

Cumin seeds

1 tsp


¼ cup(s), chopped

Long grain cooked 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 ½ 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 the 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: ½ cup rice and about ¾ cup dal