bread, Lentils

Kala Masoor Curry | Whole Black lentil Gravy | Proteinicous side dish for Roti

Some foods leave you satiated,
some spell bound. This dish belongs to the latter category. I first had it a
friend’s house in Mumbai and was left asking for more, what with the rich
creaminess of the Black Masoor Dal coming through in earthy concoctions. So
much so, that I pestered my friend for the recipe but lost track where I had written it down. I remembered I had to make it when I spring cleaned my larder and found two packets of Kala
Masoor (black Masoor dal) waiting to be used up. 

While I made Kale Masoor ki Daal
which is one of my family favourites with one packet, I called that friend and
(shamelessly) asked for that recipe once moreJShe gladly acquiesced and this gravy (or curry if you please) well became a hit
in our own house. I have used the Maharashtrian Ghoda masala here, but didn’t use
any garlic in it. But do feel free to add garlic in this, and am sure it would
be a keeper at your place too.

Linking this to Blogging Marathon # 24 under “Curries / Gravies from different States of India”
theme. Today’s is from Maharashtra, a state in Western India. Check out my
co-marathoners here.


Prep time : 20 mins +
soaking time (8 hours or overnight)

Cooking time : 20
mins | Serves: 4

Difficulty level :

Spice factor : Medium

Serving suggestions :
Butter Kulcha / Kalonji butter Naan / Indian Bread


  • Whole Black masoor
    dal – 1 cup
  • Onions – 1 large
  • Ripe Tomatoes – 2 large
    or 4 medium
  • Jeera / Cumin seeds –
    1 tsp
  • Ginger paste – ½ tsp
  • Green chillies – 2 medium
    (I used Serrano variety)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 2 TBSP
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Red chilli powder – ½
  • Garam Masala powder –
    1 TBSP
  • Ghoda Masala – ½ TBSP
    (See Notes below)
  • Sugar / Jaggery – ½ tsp
  • Lemon juice and
    coriander leaves – to garnish



Wash and soak Masoor
Dal overnight or min 8 hours

Blanch and coarsely
chop Tomatoes. Finely chop onions

Drain the soaked dal
and Pressure cook Masoor dal with little salt for 3 whistles. Do not let it
become mushy.

In a pan, add half
the oil and sizzle cumin. Add the ginger paste and chopped onions and sugar and
sauté till onions turn slightly brown, about 4 – 5 mins. Keep sprinkling water
in order not to burn the onions. They need to look darkish brown, but not
burnt. This is the key to this dish. Else burnt onions make the dish bitter. Switch
off the stove and cool.

Grind these onions along
with the blanched tomatoes into a fine paste.

In the same pan, add rest
of the oil and tip in the ground paste. Now add turmeric, salt, Ghoda masala,
red chilli powder and the Garam Masala. If you are using add the finely minced
green chillies now and sauté till the gravy turns thick. Add 1 – 2 TBSP of warm
water if you need it a little runny. Do not add too much water.

Check for spice and
salt and switch off the stove. Garnish with lemon juice and coriander leaves.

Serve hot with any
Indian bread and some cool yoghurt.


  1. Ghoda masala can be
    home made or store bought. If buying from the store, be sure to check the
    expiry date as it turns rancid very soon.
  2. To make Ghoda masala
    at home, I used the recipe fromhere.
    I made a smaller quantity, the proportions of which I shall post soon
  3. In case the gravy gets too watery, add 1 – 2 chunks of boiled and mashed potato.

Also linking to:

My own event – Winter Foods 30 min Challenge

Susan’s MLLA # 55

Vardhini’s New “U” 2013

Sumee’s Bon Vivant Healthy appetite

Gayathri’s WTML



  1. turmericnspice

    i love masoor and i agree some foods you just can't forget

  2. delicious and healthy recipe.

  3. Shruti Dhingra Wahi

    I love this daal ….Dish reminded me of my old days, before marriage I used to have this daal alternate days…
    Today's Recipe
    Vada Pav/Indian Burger

  4. Priya Suresh

    Who can resist to this nutritious dal,thick and tempting.

  5. i want to dive into this delicious dal!!!! so tempting!!!
    Ongoing Event – Breakfast
    Ongoing Event – Tried and Tasted – Raks Kitchen

  6. I am sure it would pair well with all kinds of rotis! Great curry to serve for parties too 🙂

  7. Chef Mireille

    looks so appetizing

  8. Protein packed healthy dish. Thx for linking.

    Event: New U – 2013

  9. Healthy and delicious dhal.. Very inviting..

  10. Very healthy side dish…

  11. A hearty and healthy dal. The fresh tomatoes lend such a nice garnish touch that contrasts well with the curry.

    Thanks, Kalyani, for joining in MLLA!

  12. I just picked up goda masala from the grocery recently with no particular recipe in mind. Will definitely try this dish soon. Sounds spicy and delicious.

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