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This kidney bean and lentil dal is a staple in every home in north India and is also found on the menu in every Indian restaurant serving north Indian food. It gets its strong aromatic flavor from ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric, and other warming spices. Serve with any cooked grain or whole-grain bread or tortillas.


  • ¼ medium red onion, cut into ¼-inch dice (about ½ cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 ½ teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tomato, cut into ¼-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk
  • 1 (15-ounce) can brown lentils, drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Brown rice or whole-grain bread or tortilla (for serving)


  1. Combine the onions, garlic, ginger, and ¼ cup water in a nonstick saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, coriander, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, and cumin; mix well. Add ½ cup water and cook until the tomatoes are cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the plant milk, lentils, and beans and continue to cook until the dal thickens, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add the lime juice; mix well, then season with salt to taste. Cook until the flavors merge, 2 minutes.
  5. Garnish with cilantro.
  6. Serve hot with brown rice or bread.

Comments (5)

(4 from 4 votes)
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Julianna Wernham1 year ago
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I swapped out the fresh tomato for canned but otherwise made as directed and very tasty. I had my friend from India try it and she said it tasted authentic. The only difference is that they make the legumes in a pressure cooker and the rest separate and then they mix them in the pressure cooker and let the flavors all mix. But all the same ingredients (except regular dairy and cooked with a little bit of oil).

Miruna Zorila1 year ago
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The only thing I changed was the tomato. I swapped it with on can of tomato chunks.
Otherwise, to me the recipe was delicious.

wayne kern2 years ago
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Odd tasting. The ingredients sounded good, but this just didn’t taste good to me. I can eat the rest of the batch I made, but I did think about throwing it out.

Fatima2 years ago
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Hi, I have a question: should I place a lid when cooking and not putting in ingredients, or should I leave it lidless so the water/liquid can evaporate?

Nika2 years ago
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Yummy! Served it to my non vegetarian parents with some tortillas on the side and they really enjoyed it as well. I added some leftover quinoa

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about the author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.

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