Published Apr 4th
Pakistani Lentil Curry
Prep 15m Cook 40m Additional 1h Ready In 1h 55m
Servings 2 servings Calories 480.9

This cheap and very easy Pakistani meal is usually eaten with Basmati rice, tossed salad, and hot pickles. It is relatively quick to make, and tastes even better the second day.

Recipe Ingredients

  • ¾ cup dry brown lentils
  • ¼ cup dry red lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 5 whole garlic cloves
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter
  • ¼ onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Soak brown and red lentils in ample cool water for 1 hour to overnight. Drain and rinse.
  2. 2 Place drained lentils into a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Pour in the water, then add garlic, salt, coriander, cayenne, and turmeric. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. 3 While the lentils cook, melt the clarified butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions, and cook, stirring often, until they turn golden brown. Stir in the cumin, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. 4 Stir the onions and milk into the lentils; cook for another 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro to serve.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 480.9
  • Carbohydrate 62.4 g
  • Cholesterol 34 mg
  • Fat 14.8 g
  • Fiber 26.3 g
  • Protein 26.3 g
  • Saturated Fat 8.3 g
  • Sodium 889.9 mg
  • Sugar 3.4 g


  1. Excellent flavors -- aromatic spicy but (as written) mild enough even for less adventurous diners -- well balanced. Like most traditional recipes this one can be adjusted to the palettes of those you'll be serving. I do plan to increase the cayenne next time but still found it delicious. My fiance who is not picky - Read more ...
  2. I followed this using freshly ground spices served over rice. I didn't bother soaking my lentils I threw them in and boiled for about 40 minutes. I forgot the milk but it was perfect anyway. I eat lentils several times a week I'm always looking for new and interesting dishes. This one quickly became my - Read more ...
  3. I had to interrupt my work day and my lunch to rate this one - I am eating the leftovers for lunch today and this is by far the best lentil recipe I have ever made. I took the advice of some of the others - doubled the spices and added shredded carrots and bite-size - Read more ...
  4. Turned out great. I added about 9 curry leaves though. Used a little extra Turmeric. Also some people have been saying that they reduced the water you're not supposed to. Authentic Pakistani Dal (Lentil "curry") is a bit soupy. Since its eaten with Basmati rice or bread the soupyness gives it the desired consistency. Otherwise - Read more ...
  5. I took the advice of some of the other reviewers and reduced the amount of water- 4 cups would indeed have been too much. However I found that 2 cups was not quite enough- by the time the water was all absorbed the lentils were still a bit tough so I would recommend 2.5-3 cups. - Read more ...
  6. Great lentil recipe. My boyfriend and I enjoy lentils that pack a punch of flavor and I like easy clean-up - so I made a few adjustments to the original recipe. I added one carrot and two small potatoes peeled and cut into small bite sized pieces into the pot of water. I added the - Read more ...
  7. In constant search of cheap meal ideas, I decided to give this a try. As written, I would have to rate this a 2 because lentils don't need to be soaked before cooking and the recipe calls for too much water-the general ratio is 2 parts water to one part lentils. If I had followed - Read more ...
  8. This is so tasty and full of flavor I loved it. Did not give it 5 stars due to having to adjust the recipe. I decreased the water to 2 cups(I cant imagine how soupy it would have been with 4 cups) also I doubled the coriander turmeric and cumin. I will make this again.... - Read more ...
  9. The flavor was good but the recipe seemed to call for way to much water as my lentils became a pot of mush.