Classic Indian Yellow Lentil Curry

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Classic Indian Yellow Lentil CurryOne of my south Indian neighbors shared this scrumptious recipe with me and I tried it for the first time. Fortunately, it came out well and we enjoyed it with hot boiled rice. Yellow lentils are rich in protein and are quite popular in the South Asian subcontinent. Lentils are made in different ways in India and the preparation method can vary sharply depending on the state where it is made. Tempering used in this yummy recipe consists of aromatic and flavorful curry leaves. You can easily balance the consistency of this curry as per your preference. Northern parts of India often use raw mango to cook these lentils. Apart from boiled rice, you can also serve this delicious lentil recipe with Indian flat bread.

Classic Indian Yellow Lentil Curry
Classic Indian Yellow Lentil Curry

Classic Indian Yellow Lentil Curry

Creamy and subtle flavored yellow lentil curry tempered with select ingredients that tastes great both with Indian flatbread as well as with rice.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 1 cup yellow lentils
  • 2 medium sized ripe tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 small onions (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch of asafoetida powder
  • 3 to 4 coriander sprigs (for garnish)
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil
  • salt to taste


  1. Soak the lentils in water for about 15 minutes
  2. Pressure cook soaked lentils in about 3 glasses of water for about 8 minutes.
  3. Take deep nonstick sauce pan and heat 2 tsp oil in it.
  4. Add cumin seeds in it and let them crackle for a minute.
  5. Add ginger garlic paste and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  6. Add half of the chopped onions and saute till it turns light brown.
  7. Add chopped tomatoes with red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt.
  8. Add 1/4 cup of water and mash the tomatoes as all the ingredients simmer on a low flame.
  9. Add pressure cooked lentils in the pan along with the water inside cooker.
  10. Simmer on a medium flame till the lentil curry reaches right consistency.
  11. Heat 1 tsp vegetable oil in a tempering pan.
  12. Add asafoetida powder in it along with mustard seeds.
  13. Let the seeds crackle for half a minute.
  14. Add rest of the chopped onions and saute till it turns translucent.
  15. Add curry leavers and stir fry for half a minute.
  16. Add it in hot lentil curry.
  17. Garnish with coriander sprigs and serve with boiled rice.


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