Masoor Dal with Rose and Pistachio Tarka (Spiced Red Lentils)

I grew up having dal chawal (lentil stew with rice) every Sunday night. For me, this dish means home and family. It’s a hearty lentil stew that bursts with flavour and served with warm and fluffy basmati rice. Every household makes their dal different. It gets adapted between cultures, tradition and history. There is truly no right or wrong way to make dal, so I’m sharing my special recipe with you today. It’s a mixture of Indian, Persian and Sri Lankan flavours. I’m sure you have never tasted anything like this before.

This recipe uses masoor dal, the red dal that does not get a lot of attention in many dal recipes. Typically, moong dal or toor dal (yellow dal) gets used in most Indian dal recipes. Masoor has more of a distinct flavour, and it is certainly a lot easier than most dals to make.

I did not use a pressure cooker for this recipe, because you don’t need one. Pressure cookers are certainly used for most dal recipes, as certain dals need that extra pressure to soften. However, masoor dal just needs a short 30 minutes with the lid on the kadai for it to soften, and for you to get that beautiful, spicy lentil stew.

I loved using the cast iron kadai for this recipe, it was easy and so simple to make. You can buy yours here from Meyer. Use my discount code for 10% off any of your cast iron purchases (code: MEYERxTVW)

These are the special spices needed to make this delicious dal recipe:

  • Coriander
  • Kokum
  • Cumin seed powder (Jeera powder)
  • Coriander seed powder (Dhania powder)
  • Curry powder
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • Mango slice powder (Amchoor)
  • Turmeric (Haldi)
  • Saffron
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Fine black pepper
  • Cardamom powder
  • Dried rose petals
  • Pistachios
  • A2 Ghee

I specifically use A2 ghee for this recipe because it has more amino acids than regular ghee and it is easier to digest.

Most of these ingredients can be found in an Indian grocery store. I specifically like the home delivery services of OBC Mart and Regency Spices.

As always, if you loved making this, please comment, share, like or rate it!

Masoor Dal with Rose and Pistachio Tarka (Spiced Red Lentils)

The Veggie Wifey
Hearty lentil stew that is gluten-free and packed with flavour
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Persian, Sri Lankan
Servings 4


  • 1 Cast Iron Kadai Buy yours from here:



  • 1 tbsp A2 Ghee
  • 1/2 cup Masoor Dal
  • 3 pcs kokum
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1/2 medium white onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander with the root sliced
  • 1 small red chilli sliced


  • 1 tsp cumin seed powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seed powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp mango slice powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp black powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon powder
  • 10 saffron strands
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk


  • 4 rose buds petals only
  • 1/2 cup green pistachios unshelled & chopped
  • 1 tsp A2 Ghee
  • 5 saffron strands


Dal Prep

  • Wash the dal until the water comes clear
  • Flood the dal with some water in a bowl, add the kokum pieces, and set the bowl aside

Spice prep

  • Add the chopped tomato, onion, coriander, chilli, garlic and ginger to a food processor and blend until it reaches a smooth paste. Set aside

Cooking the dal

  • In your cast iron kadai, add the ghee and let it heat up on high heat
  • Add the tomato onion mixture and let it cook with the lid for about 5 minutes on medium heat
  • Once you notice the mixture reaching a bubbling simmer, drain the water from the dal and kokum water bowl.
  • Add the dal and kokum to the tomato and onion mixture in the heated kadai. Mix it thoroughly.
  • Add all the spices in this mixture and let it cook for 30 minutes on low flame, or until the dal is soft and you're able to mash it between your fingers.
  • Add the coconut milk in as the final step, and mix it in thoroughly.


  • In a smaller cast iron skillet, add the ghee, saffron, rose petals and pistachios. Let it reach a sizzle, then turn off the gas
  • Add this to the dal right away, while it is hot. Mix it through or leave it on the top and serve right away.
  • Garnish with extra chopped coriander, rose petals and chopped green pistachios! You can use the kadai to serve this. Enjoy!
Keyword Dal
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