Pakistani Lentil Curry

Pakistani Lentil Curry


"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."

Ingredients 1 h 55 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 481 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 2 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 481 kcal
  • 24%
  • Fat:
  • 14.8 g
  • 23%
  • Carbs:
  • 62.4g
  • 20%
  • Protein:
  • 26.3 g
  • 53%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 34 mg
  • 11%
  • Sodium:
  • 890 mg
  • 36%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Soak brown and red lentils in ample cool water for 1 hour to overnight. Drain and rinse.
  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. 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. Stir the onions and milk into the lentils; cook for another 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro to serve.
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Reviews 37

  1. 47 Ratings


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 the directions of the recipe, this would have been REALLY watery/liquidy and I think pretty gross. Here is what I did . . . I rinsed 2 cups of brown lentils and simmered them with 4 cups of water, adding more water as needed until they were cooked to the right texture (was doubling the recipe). I added 5 cloves of chopped garlic and doubled the rest of the spices, except the cayenne (too spicy for my 3 yr old). As it simmered, it smelled good but looked boring so I sauteed some shredded carrots, yellow bell pepper, and zucchini in a separate pan while I caramelized the onion (a whole one). When the lentils were done, I added the sauteed veggies and the caramelized onions to the pot and stirred it up. I served it over Basmati Rice, topped it with cilantro and it still needed something. Paneer would have been great but I didn't have it so used some white crumbly Mexican cheese on the top (feta would have been great too). The end result was amazingly delicious! I will definitely make it again-in the future, I will add more veggies, caramelize 2 onions, cut down the lentils and use veggie broth to simmer the lentils in, plus add paneer to the top. Thanks for the idea and great spice combinati

Khawer A. Khan

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 its too dry.

Natalie Hahn O'Flaherty

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 potato chunks - and used the full amount of water, which was almost completely absorbed in the cooking. I skipped the final step of adding milk, but only because I forgot. DELICIOUS. Served it with flatbread and some crumbled feta the first night. Having it with wild rice today. Love it. Thank you!