Simple Lemon Urad Dal

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
simple lemon urad dal

As much as I enjoy cooking, there are days when I want a meal to come together with little fuss. Dal soups and curries are always a fine choice. Nourishing and warming, oftentimes such easy preparations are the ultimate comfort food. Soothing and modestly spiced with a lemony undertone, this creamy urad dal pairs well with basmati rice. To dress the meal up a bit more, consider serving the dal with cracked black pepper rice.

eay urad dal with lemon and tomato

Any dal could be used in place of the urad dal, such as chana, toor or mung dal. Each dal is distinctive and will change the texture and flavor of any dal dish made, so experimenting with various lentils from the pantry will result in a different taste experience each time. Though I cook with toor dal more often, I used urad dal because of the unique and creamy texture it imparts to curries and soups. In its split and skinless form, it is a rather mild dal that works well with Indian flavors.

Simple Lemon Urad DalSimple Lemon Urad Dal
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on December 17, 2014

Simple, creamy and comforting golden Indian dal curry with lemon, tomato and spices

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 to 35 minutes

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 cup skinned split urad dal
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • juice from 1 small lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • sea salt to taste
Tarka (tempering):
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • small handful of dried curry leaves, crumbled
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida
  • Rinse the urad dal well. Bring the water and turmeric to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the urad dal, bring to a boil again, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the tomato and simmer for another 40 to 60 minutes, until the dal is soft and begins to break apart. Whisk in the lemon juice and salt and simmer, uncovered, for another few minutes. Remove from the heat.

  • To make the tarka, heat the oil in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds to the pan. Stir and fry until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Add the curry leaves, chilies and asafetida. Stir a few times and then pour the contents into the cooked dal. Cover the dal with the lid and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir and serve with rice and/or bread.

Makes 4 servings

simple lemon urad dal

More urad dal recipes from Lisa's Kitchen to try:
Urad Dal with Toor Dal and Spinach and Parsley
Urad Dal with Spices
Mung Bean and Urad Dal Curry
Fennel-Flavored Urad Dal Soup


Francesca said...

Another beautiful dhal recipe. I can come to your blog whenever I need Dhal inspiration.

Tova said...

I tried this today - great recipe! The curry leaves and the lemon juice made it top notch.