Best Bengali Dal recipe – easy and delicious!

Welcome, food enthusiasts! Today I am thrilled to share with you my recipe for a popular Bengali dish, the Bengali Dal. Originating from the state of West Bengal, this mouth-watering combination of lentils and spices is beloved by many for its rich flavors and creamy texture.

I discovered this recipe during my travels through India, where food is not only a necessity but a celebration of life. I was captivated by the vibrant flavors of Bengali cuisine and its unique combination of spices such as garam masala, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground coriander, mango powder, fenugreek seeds, turmeric and kosher salt.

Bengali Dal is also known as Masoor Dal or Red Lentil Soup, and it’s a staple in every Indian household. It’s simple to prepare yet packed with layers of flavor that will keep you coming back for more. This dish can be customized to your liking – for example, you can add other types of vegetarian protein like chana dal or arhar dal.

As a chef, I’m always eager to share my passion for cooking with others. So whether you’re new to Indian cuisine or have been enjoying it for years, I hope this recipe inspires you to try something new and tantalize your taste buds with the delicious flavors of Bengali Dal. So let’s delve into the ingredient list and follow along for a foodie adventure like no other!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Bengali Dal
Bengali Dal

Looking for a comforting and hearty meal that will take you on a journey of flavor? Look no further than my Bengali Dal recipe. This dish is sure to become a staple in your repertoire, and is perfect for any season or occasion.

First off, the combination of spices used in this recipe provides a complex and aromatic fragrance that will tantalize your senses. With ingredients like garam masala, cayenne pepper, ground coriander, and turmeric powder, you’ll experience a range of flavors that are unique to Bengali cuisine.

In addition to its delicious taste, this dish is also incredibly nutritious. Lentils, especially masoor dal (which is used in this recipe), are known for their high protein content and fiber. They can help keep you full and satisfied throughout the day while providing important nutrients that your body needs.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. While it’s traditionally made with masoor dal, you can also substitute with other lentils such as chana dal or urad dal depending on what you have in your pantry. You can also adjust the spice level according to your preference.

Finally, this dish is easy to make and doesn’t require any fancy equipment. All you need is a pressure cooker or a pot and some basic kitchen tools. It’s perfect for busy weeknights when you want something quick but flavorful.

Overall, my Bengali Dal recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to expand their culinary horizons and experience the delicious flavors of Bengal. Give it a try and I guarantee you’ll fall in love with it just as much as I have!

Ingredient List

 Warm and comforting, Bengali Dal is the perfect meal for a cozy night in.
Warm and comforting, Bengali Dal is the perfect meal for a cozy night in.

Get Ready to Gather Your Ingredients!

Before we delve into the preparation of Bengali Masoor Dal, let’s check out all the ingredients that you will need to put together this tasty dish. These ingredients are easily available in most grocery stores, so no need to worry about finding them.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Masoor Dal: 1 cup
  • Water: 3 cups
  • Onion (Thinly Sliced): 1 medium size
  • Garlic Powder: 2 tsp
  • Onion Powder: 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
  • Ground Coriander: 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala: 1 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Bay Leaf (2 pcs)
  • Nigella Seeds (Kalonji): 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds (Methi): ½ tsp
  • Red Chili Powder: As per your taste or preference
  • Green Chilies (Chopped): 2 pcs
  • Coconut Oil/Ghee/Vegetable Oil/Bay Leaf Oil/Mustard Oil, for cooking
  • Salt, as per taste

Most of the ingredients listed above are essential and cannot be substituted with anything else, but a few can be easily modified or omitted. This means you have some flexibility in case you don’t like one of the spices or do not have access to a particular oil.

The Recipe How-To

 Aromatic spices and tender lentils make this dish a flavor explosion in every bite.
Aromatic spices and tender lentils make this dish a flavor explosion in every bite.

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients for our Bengali Dal Recipe, it’s time to start cooking! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make this delicious dish.

Preparation and Cooking
Step 1: Rinse the lentils

Take one cup of masoor dal and rinse it well in cold water. Set aside.

Step 2: Sauté Onion

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and panch phoron. Once they start to crackle, add thinly sliced onion and sauté until they turn golden brown.

Step 3: Add Spices & Lentils

Next, add red lentils or any lentils of your choice along with some salt to taste. Then, add ground turmeric, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, and mango powder (amchur powder) for a tangy flavor. Mix everything together.

Step 4: Add Water

Add about 3 cups of water to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. After that, reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid or pressure cooker, and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the lentils soften.

Step 5: Tempering

Meanwhile heat ghee in another pan and add nigella seeds, bay leaf, green chillies, garlic cloves, and dried whole red chili. Fry for a minute then pour over the cooked dal.

Step 6: Serve

Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves (optional) and serve warm with rice or flatbread.

Serving Suggestions

Bengali Dal goes well with steamed rice, naan bread, or roti/chapati. You can also serve it as a side dish with your favorite curry.

Tips for Perfect Results

  • The consistency of dal can be adjusted by adding more or less water as per preference.
  • Adjust the spice level as per your taste buds.
  • For better results always soak the dal for at least an hour before cooking.
  • To cut down on cooking time use a pressure cooker.
  • Adding a teaspoon of sugar enhances the taste of Bengali dal.

Hope these tips will help you make perfect Bengali dal every time!

Substitutions and Variations

 Take your taste buds on a journey with this authentic Bengali recipe.
Take your taste buds on a journey with this authentic Bengali recipe.

Bengali dal is a versatile dish that allows for plenty of substitutions and variations to suit your tastes or dietary requirements. Here are some ideas to make this recipe your own:

– Lentils: Instead of masoor dal or bengali masoor dal, you can use chana dal, arhar dal, tur dal, black lentil, or split red lentils (also known as gram split or bengal gram). Each type of lentil will give a slightly different flavor and texture to the dish.

– Spices: Garam masala is a common spice blend used in Bengali cooking and can be substituted with your favorite curry powder or a mix of ground coriander, cumin seeds, cinnamon, and cardamom. You can also adjust the amount of cayenne pepper or green chillies to make the dish more or less spicy. For a tangy flavor, try adding mango powder.

– Seasonings: Along with turmeric and kosher salt, you can add other seasonings such as nigella seeds (also known as kalonji), bay leaf, fenugreek seeds (also known as methi), mustard seeds, or garlic powder to enhance the flavors.

– Vegetables: To add more nutrition and color to the dish, you can throw in some chopped vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, carrots, or potatoes. You can also top the dal with caramelized onions (diye bhaja) or roasted garlic (rosun diye).

– Garnishes: A traditional Bengali dal recipe often includes fried coconut flakes (bhaja muger dal), roasted turmeric and garlic (bhaja arhar dal), or clarified butter (ghee) drizzled on top. You can also sprinkle some fresh coriander leaves for a pop of freshness.

No matter how you choose to customize this Bengali dal recipe, it’s sure to be a delicious addition to your food fare.

Serving and Pairing

 This hearty and healthy meal is perfect for a weekday dinner or a weekend brunch.
This hearty and healthy meal is perfect for a weekday dinner or a weekend brunch.

Bengali Masoor Dal is a versatile dish that pairs well with many other Indian dishes. It is often served as a main course accompanied by rice, naan bread or chapatis. The dish also goes well with a variety of side dishes, including cucumber raita, pickles, chutneys, and yogurt.

When serving Bengali Masoor Dal, it is important to remember that the dish has a spicy kick due to the use of garam masala, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. You can balance the heat by serving it with some cooling sides such as cucumber raita or mint chutney.

If you want to add some color and texture to your meal, you can garnish the dal with cilantro leaves and serve it with lime wedges for squeezing over the top just before serving. This adds a fresh and tangy flavor to the rich dal.

Lastly, consider pairing Bengali Masoor Dal with a sweet dessert such as rasgulla or gulab jamun. The sweetness contrasts nicely with the spiciness of the dal, providing a perfect balance of flavors.

In conclusion, Bengali Masoor Dal is a delicious and adaptable dish that can be eaten on its own or paired with many other Indian dishes. Its versatility makes it suitable for any occasion – from everyday meals to special occasions.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Dare to try something new? Cook up a pot of Bengali Dal and impress your family and friends!
Dare to try something new? Cook up a pot of Bengali Dal and impress your family and friends!

One of the best parts about Bengali Dal is that it actually gets better with time, which makes it perfect for meal prepping and leftovers! This richly spiced dish can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer, ready for you to reheat whenever you’re ready for a delicious meal.

To make ahead of time, simply cook the dal according to the recipe instructions, allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. This can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, simply heat it up on the stove or microwave until piping hot.

When reheating, you may need to add a little extra water or broth to make sure the dal doesn’t dry out. It’s also important to stir frequently while reheating to ensure even heating and prevent any sticking or burning.

For best results, I recommend reheating your Bengali Dal in a pot on the stove over low heat. This will help retain its flavor and texture without overcooking it. If using a microwave, try covering it with a damp paper towel to prevent any moisture loss.

Overall, making Bengali Dal ahead of time is a fantastic way to ensure that you always have a healthy and delicious meal ready when you need it! Whether it’s for lunch at work or a quick dinner after a long day, this hearty and flavorful dish is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Whether you're a vegetarian or a meat-lover, this dish will satisfy all cravings.
Whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat-lover, this dish will satisfy all cravings.

Cooking lentils can be a bit intimidating, especially for those who are not used to working with them. However, with some proper preparation and cooking techniques, you will be able to create an authentic and delicious Bengali dal recipe that is just as good, if not better than your favorite Indian restaurant. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare your Bengali masoor dal.

Firstly, consider soaking your lentils before cooking them. Soaking them on water for one or two hours will reduce the cooking time and will also make them easier to digest. If you don’t have enough time for soaking them, you can always rinse them multiple times until the water runs clear.

Secondly, when it comes to spices, do not cut corners. Using quality spices such as garam masala and mango powder adds depth and complexity to the dish. Do not hesitate in experimenting with different ratios of spices to find what works best for you.

Thirdly, the texture of the lentils play a critical role in the final outcome of the dish. Be sure not to overcook or undercook them; they should be tender but not mushy nor too hard. For example, masoor dal only takes about 20-25 minutes to cook on a stove top.

Fourthly, experiment with various lentils like chana dal or urad dal in order to add variety to your dal recipes. These lentils bring different textures and flavors that take your dishes to another level.

Finally, do not forget to taste test along the way! Add salt gradually as you go while keeping in mind that each brand has its own level of sodium content; adjust accordingly based on your personal taste preference. By following these tips, you’re well on your way to making perfect Bengali masoor dal every time!


Now that we have covered various aspects of this delicious Bengali Dal recipe, you may still have some common questions in mind. Don’t worry, as we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers to help you make the perfect Bengali Dal every time. So, let’s dive into the FAQ section for this recipe!

How many types of dal are there in Bengali?

There are several types of lentils used in Bengali, Hindi, and English cuisine. Some examples are chholar dal, which is also known as chana dal or Bengal gram, kalai/biuli dal which is also called urad dal or black gram, and Matar dal which is used in dishes made with dried peas.

Which dal is famous in West Bengal?

Cholar Dal, a renowned Bengali delicacy, holds great significance in West Bengal’s festive cuisine. Consisting of split and hulled black chickpeas, commonly known as chana dal or split Bengal gram, this dal preparation is highly favored during occasions such as Durga Puja.

What is urad dal in Bengali?

A kind of lentil that goes by the name of Urad Dal or Biuli Dal or Kolai Dal in Bangla.

What is black lentil dal in bengali?

The dish I want to introduce to you today is a savory lentil dish commonly known in Bengali as mashkalai ḍal and in Nepali as Kalo Daal or simply mās. It is made using black lentils and is a staple food item in these regions.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Bengali Masoor Dal is a scrumptious and nutrient-dense dish that is easy to make and perfect for all occasions. With its unique blend of rich flavors and aromatic spices such as garam masala, fenugreek seeds, and cayenne pepper, this recipe is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.

Whether you’re cooking for your family or entertaining guests, Bengali Masoor Dal is an excellent addition to any meal. Moreover, this recipe offers versatility with variations like chana dal, arhar dal, tur dal, and black lentils, allowing you to experiment with different flavors.

Finally, with helpful tips for perfect results like using a pressure cooker to cook the dal or adding roasted tur dal and garlic to enhance the dish’s texture and flavor, you can be confident that your efforts in the kitchen will be well-rewarded.

So next time you’re looking to add some variety to your food fare or impress your dinner guests, try out this classic Bengali recipe – I guarantee it won’t disappoint!

Bengali Dal

Bengali Dal Recipe

I don't recall from who or where this recipe came from. If anyone would happen to know, zmail me and I will credit. It is a bit thinner than the usual dal. It is to be served as a soup, rather than a side dish. The spice/heat is barely detectable. You can adjust yours to taste.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bangladeshi
Calories 147.1 kcal


  • 1 cup split mung dal, rinsed
  • 7 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mango powder (amchur)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala


  • Place moong dal, water, salt, turmeric and mustard oil in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until dal is tender.
  • Stir in fenugreek, mango powder, coriander, onion and garlic powders, cayenne, and garam masala.
  • Simmer 20 minutes more. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro if desired.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 251gCalories: 147.1kcalCarbohydrates: 19.8gProtein: 8.4gFat: 3.9gSaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 589.7mgFiber: 10gSugar: 0.7g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Beans, Easy, Indian, Lentils, Vegan
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