Aquarius Red Lentil Dal Recipe - Vegan Indian Cuisine

Aquarius Red Lentil Dal

Aquarius Red Lentil Dal Recipe - Vegan Indian Cuisine
Region / culture: India | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegan diet


Aquarius Red Lentil Dal
Aquarius Red Lentil Dal

Aquarius Red Lentil Dal is a vibrant and nourishing dish that combines the earthy flavors of red lentils with aromatic spices and fresh herbs. This recipe is a testament to the versatility and comfort that lentils can bring to the table. Perfect for those seeking a hearty, plant-based meal, this dal is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. Whether you're an experienced cook or new to the kitchen, this recipe is straightforward and rewarding to make.


The tradition of cooking dal dates back thousands of years in South Asian cuisine, with each region offering its unique take on this staple dish. Red lentil dal, in particular, is celebrated for its quick cooking time and creamy texture. The Aquarius Red Lentil Dal recipe draws inspiration from these traditional recipes while incorporating a modern twist with the addition of basmati rice, fresh tomatoes, and cilantro, making it a delightful fusion dish that pays homage to its rich history.


How to prepare

  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add 1 cup of onion and 1 minced garlic clove, sauté until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Combine 3 cups of water, lentils, remaining 1 cup of onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, turmeric, cumin, and ginger in a heavy medium saucepan.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Transfer half of the lentil mixture to a processor; purée until smooth.
  8. Return the purée to the same saucepan.
  9. Mix in the sautéed onion mixture.
  10. Simmer for 5 minutes to blend flavors.
  11. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  12. Spoon rice into bowls.
  13. Spoon dal over the rice.
  14. Top with tomatoes, cilantro, and chile.


  • For a spicier version, increase the amount of jalapeño or add a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • Add spinach or kale during the last few minutes of cooking for an extra boost of greens.
  • Swap the basmati rice for quinoa or brown rice for a different whole grain option.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To achieve the perfect consistency and flavor in your Aquarius Red Lentil Dal, consider these tips:

- Rinse the lentils thoroughly before cooking to remove any dust or debris.

- Sautéing the onions and garlic until golden brown is crucial for developing a deep flavor base.

- Use fresh spices if possible, as they will impart a more vibrant flavor to the dal.

- Adding a bit of acid, such as lemon juice, at the end of cooking can brighten the dish and balance the flavors.

Serving Suggestions

Aquarius Red Lentil Dal can be served as a main dish, accompanied by a side of naan bread or pita for dipping. It also pairs well with a simple cucumber salad or steamed greens for a complete and balanced meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key techniques in this recipe include sautéing to develop flavor, simmering to cook the lentils to perfection, and puréeing part of the mixture to achieve a creamy texture. Each step is simple but contributes to the overall depth of flavor in the dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If red lentils are unavailable, yellow lentils can be used as a substitute, though cooking times may vary.

- Coconut oil can replace vegetable oil for a hint of coconut flavor.

- For a tomato-free version, try using diced red bell pepper for sweetness and color.

Make Ahead Tips

Aquarius Red Lentil Dal is an excellent make-ahead meal. It can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month. Simply reheat on the stove or in the microwave when ready to serve.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the dal over a bed of fluffy basmati rice, garnished with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a wedge of lemon on the side. For an elegant touch, add a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of toasted cumin seeds on top.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs beautifully with a crisp, dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied beer like a lager. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling water with a squeeze of lime complements the flavors of the dal perfectly.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Aquarius Red Lentil Dal in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm gently on the stove over medium heat, adding a little water if necessary to thin the consistency. It can also be reheated in the microwave.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Aquarius Red Lentil Dal is relatively low in calories, making it an excellent option for those monitoring their calorie intake. The exact number of calories will depend on the serving size, but it is generally a light yet satisfying meal.


A serving of Aquarius Red Lentil Dal is a good source of carbohydrates, primarily from the lentils and basmati rice. Carbohydrates are essential for energy, and this dish provides a healthy balance of complex carbs, which are digested slowly, ensuring a steady release of energy.


The only significant source of fat in this recipe comes from the vegetable oil used for sautéing. This dish is low in saturated fats, making it a heart-healthy choice. For an even healthier version, you can opt for olive oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fats.


Red lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, making the Aquarius Red Lentil Dal a great option for vegetarians and vegans. Protein is crucial for building and repairing tissues, and this dish provides a substantial amount to support bodily functions.

Vitamins and minerals

This dal is rich in several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C from the tomatoes, Vitamin K, and iron from the cilantro, and a range of B vitamins from the lentils. These nutrients support various bodily functions, including immune system health and energy production.


This recipe is free from common allergens such as nuts, dairy, and gluten, making it suitable for individuals with these allergies or intolerances. However, always check the labels of individual ingredients to ensure they are allergen-free.


Overall, Aquarius Red Lentil Dal is a nutritious and balanced meal, providing a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a wholesome choice for anyone looking to enjoy a delicious and healthful dish.


Aquarius Red Lentil Dal is a flavorful, nutritious, and comforting dish that showcases the simplicity and beauty of lentils. With its rich history, versatile serving options, and health benefits, it's a perfect meal for any day of the week. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or explore variations, this dal is sure to become a cherished addition to your culinary repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of anticipation I felt when I first discovered this recipe for Aquarius Red Lentil Dal. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Leela for our weekly cooking exchange. Leela always had a way of finding the most unique and delicious recipes from all over the world, and I couldn't wait to see what she had in store for me that day.

As I walked into her kitchen, I was immediately greeted by the fragrant aroma of spices and herbs. Leela had a large pot simmering on the stove, and she turned to me with a smile as she stirred the contents.

"Welcome, my dear friend! Today, I am going to teach you how to make Aquarius Red Lentil Dal," she announced, her eyes sparkling with excitement.

I had never heard of this dish before, but I was intrigued by the name. Leela explained that it was a traditional Indian lentil curry that was not only delicious but also packed with protein and nutrients. She had learned the recipe from her grandmother, who had passed it down through generations.

Leela guided me through the process, showing me how to properly wash and soak the red lentils before cooking them with a blend of spices, including turmeric, cumin, coriander, and garam masala. She added chopped onions, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes to the pot, creating a rich and flavorful base for the lentils to simmer in.

As the dal cooked, the aroma filled the kitchen, making my mouth water in anticipation. Leela explained that the key to a good dal was to let it simmer slowly, allowing the flavors to meld together and the lentils to become tender and creamy.

After a couple of hours, the dal was ready, and Leela ladled it into bowls, garnishing each one with a dollop of creamy yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. We sat down at the table and dug in, savoring each spoonful of the warm and comforting dish.

From that day on, Aquarius Red Lentil Dal became a staple in my own cooking repertoire. I made it for my family, friends, and anyone else who was lucky enough to come to my table. Each time I cooked it, I thought of Leela and the special bond we shared over our love of food and culture.

Over the years, I continued to make Aquarius Red Lentil Dal, tweaking the recipe here and there to suit my own tastes and preferences. I added more garlic and ginger for an extra kick, or swapped out the tomatoes for coconut milk for a creamier texture. No matter how I made it, the dal always brought me back to that sunny afternoon in Leela's kitchen, where I first discovered its magic.

Now, as I pass down the recipe to my own grandchildren, I hope that they will feel the same sense of anticipation and joy that I did when I first learned to make Aquarius Red Lentil Dal. I hope that they will create their own memories and traditions around this dish, just as I have done with Leela and the many other recipes I have collected over the years.

Food has a unique way of bringing people together, of bridging cultures and generations. And for me, Aquarius Red Lentil Dal will always hold a special place in my heart as a reminder of the power of food to create connections and memories that last a lifetime.


| Basmati Rice Recipes | Cilantro Recipes | Garlic Recipes | Indian Recipes | Jalapeno Pepper Recipes | Onion Recipes | Plum Tomato Recipes | Red Lentil Recipes | Vegan Soup Recipes |

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