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Simple traditional Ayurvedic dal recipe

This simple traditional Ayurvedic dal recipe is by far my go to meal and I prepare it several times during the week.

In Ayurvedic cooking, dal is one of the most important and commonly used ingredients. It is known for being easy to digest, nourishing and supporting agni (digestive fire). There are different kinds of dal which differ in taste, texture, way of preparation and service and other aspects. One thing is certain and that is, according to Ayurveda, dal is one of the most nourishing foods and contributing to our wellness when prepared in a sattvic way. It is often used in Ayurvedic detox treatments when prepared in a simple way.

In this recipe I used red dal. You can also use the yellow one because they are almost the same. It is a simple and traditional dal recipe, which means I haven’t added anything extra other than the dal and the spices.

Traditional Ayurvedic dal recipe

2 tbsp coriander seeds
Handful of fresh coriander
2 tbsp cumin seeds (or powder)
3 garlic cloves (crushed or finely cut)
1/2 tbsp black ground pepper
1/2 tbsp Himalayan salt
Small fresh ginger (crushed or finely cut)
200 gr red dal
1 tbsp of coconut oil (traditionally ghee is used; coconut is the vegan friendly alternative)
250/300ml of water


  1. Soak the red dal in water for about 20mins prior to cooking. This is not required as red dal cooks easily, but I always prefer to soak it, I get the impression it cooks more fluffy.
  2. In a frying pan, add the oil and allow it to heat slightly.
  3. Add all the spices together including the fresh ginger and garlic (apart from the fresh coriander) and let them cook for about 1-2minutes.
  4. Add the dal and mix it well with the spices.
  5. Add 250ml of boiling water and turn the heat slight lower. Allow everything to cook together well. This will take about 25minutes if done at a lower heat, so that everything simmers well together.
  6. When it is almost ready, add the fresh coriander and mix it in.

Enjoy it with a side of basmati rice or quinoa which is how I had it.

Dal recipe