Lemon Dal

Lemon Dal


Lemon dal is a delicious, simple lentil-based dish that can be served with rice or rotis.

The dish rocks my world on days when the heart wants a simple comfort meal or when I am super pressed for time yet desire a healthy something to eat.

When in doubt, I would make dal. Always. Saves me the trouble of dealing with the dreaded question, “what’s for dinner?’ I mean who in their right minds likes the question, right?

It’s amazing how something so simple can be remarkable and satisfying for the heart and palate. Lemon Dal of the dal varieties takes the prize for being the simplest of them all. It gets done in less than 15 minutes and a hot meal served with your choice of carbs is ready to be attacked. Now, what’s not to love about that?

Lemon dal is commonly made in many Indian homes and each  family put its own little spin on this simple preparation. The recipe is inspired by the dal my mother-in-law makes. She would often make soft chapatis to be served with the dal.

This dal is a scrumptious mix of lentils, tomatoes made complete with the squeeze of fresh lemon juice and topped with a crunchy tadka. Yumm!

What is your favourite dal? I enjoy a moreish Methi Dal. Check out my other lentil preparations in my blog:

Masoor Dal Soup

Dal Fry

Dal Shorba w/ Leftover Dal Fry

Serves: 2 to 4


  • Moong dal – 1 cup
  • Tomato – 1, chopped into large cubes
  • Green chillies – 4, slit lengthwise
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Lemon  – 1 medium
  • Coriander leaves (chopped) – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – As required

To Temper:

  • Ghee – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 heaped tsp
  • Cumin seeds/jeera – 1 tsp
  • Dried red chillies – 2
  • Asafoetida – 1 pinch


  1. Rinse the moong dal well.
  2. Add the rinsed moong dal in a pressure cooker.
  3. Add the slit green chillies, tomatoes, turmeric and salt.
  4. Pour 4 or more cups of water.
  5. Pressure cook for 3 to 5 whistles.
  6. Open pressure cooker upon the pressure settling.
  7. Mash the dal to soften it.
  8. Pour hot water and mash the dal if it is thick or needs to be thinning down.
  9. Set aside.
  10. In a small pan, heat ghee.
  11. Add the mustard and cumin seeds.
  12. Let the mustard seeds sputter.
  13. Toss in dried red chillies and a pinch of asafoetida.
  14. Let the chillies turn a slight brown.
  15. Turn off the stove.
  16. Drizzle the tempering over the cooked dal.
  17. Squeeze juice of half or a whole lemon on the dal.
  18. Mix well to combine.
  19. Season with chopped coriander leaves.
  20. Serve hot with rice or rotis.


  1. Make this on a heavy bottomed vessel if you don’t have a pressure cooker. Note that this will increase the cooking time but the flavour will be just as good.
  2. You could add chopped garlic to the tempering for that added flavour.
  3. Add/omit ingredients to suit your taste.


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  3. Ramanathan suresh

    Looks yummy. Next in my to do list.

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