Vegan Whole Brown Lentils

Indian cuisine spans many, many varieties of lentils or “Daal” as they are popularly known, with different variations in ingredients, spices and the amount of gravy to slurp up! Brown lentils  are commonly available and easy to cook. Ranging from a dark mottled greenish brown to dark brown, they have beautiful rich flavour that is mild enough to soak up whatever herbs and spices it is cooked in.

We need,

  • Lentils, soaked – 1 cup
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Onion, chopped finely – 1 medium
  • Ginger, minced finely – 1″ piece
  • Garlic Cloves, minced finely – 3 to 4
  • Tomato Paste – 2 tablespoons
  • Green Chillies, slit lengthwise – 2
  • Curry Powder (Garam Masala) – 1 teaspoon
  • Water – 3 cups
  • Salt, to taste
  • Red Onion, round slices, optional


  1. Rinse and cook lentils with water and salt in a pressure cooker pan for 8 – 10 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a separate thick bottomed pan, add cumin seeds and fry.
  3. Add in the onion, green chillies, ginger and garlic. Cook until onions look translucent.
  4. Mix in the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes till the raw smell goes off.
  5. Stir in the curry powder/ Garam masala and mix well.
  6. Add the cooked lentils to the above mixture and stir well. Feel free to add more water at this stage ( I did not, because the cooked lentils had enough water).
  7. After the mixture comes to a boil, simmer for 8 – 10 minutes and take off the heat.

 Serve hot with rotis/ chapathis, garnished with sliced red onions. Enjoy!


Please tell me in the comments below what your favourite lentil recipe is 😊



I am an enthusiastic plant based home cook and baker who delights in sharing my creations on unsuspecting non vegans, when they least expect it! When not recipe developing, testing or making, I’m found organising and/ or writing, the two other passions of my life ❤️