Masala Vegan

Plant based recipes inspired by spices and green living!

Picture of Vegan Whole Brown Lentils

Vegan Whole Brown Lentils

Indian cuisine spans many, many varieties of lentils or “Daal” as they are popularly known, with different variations in the spices used, vegetables added and the amount of gravy to slurp up! Brown lentils, whole and split are commonly available and easy to cook. Ranging from a dark mottled greenish brown to dark brown, they have a beautiful rich flavour that is mild enough to soak up whatever herbs and spices it is cooked in to make a wholesome meal. Using canned lentils is extra convenient when low on time for a quick and delicious vegan whole brown lentils Dahl.

We need,

  • Lentils – 1 cup raw soaked, or 1 can .
  • 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 raw soaked lentils with water and salt in a pressure cooker pan for 8 – 10 minutes.
  2. If using canned lentils, drain and rinse well.
  3. Heat oil in a separate thick bottomed pan, add cumin seeds and fry.
  4. Add in the onion, green chillies, ginger and garlic. Cook until onions look translucent.
  5. Mix in the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes till the raw smell goes off.
  6. Stir in the curry powder/ Garam Masala and mix well.
  7. 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).
  8. After the mixture comes to a boil, simmer for 8 – 10 minutes and take off the heat.

 Serve hot with roti/ chapathi garnished with sliced red onions. Enjoy!


I tend to use both fresh lentils when I have the time and canned lentils for convenience. Please see here to buy BPA free cooked lentils through Amazon (thank you for ordering through here as I do make a small amount to help run my blog).




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 ❤️