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Lentil and Potato Dal

Lentil and potato dal makes a simple and flavorful weeknight meal. You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now!

I love Indian food.  In fact, it might be my favorite ethnic cuisine.  I think it is strange that it isn’t more mainstream like chinese.  I would love an Indian restaurant handing out those samples at the mall food court.  I love that there are so many Indian dishes that are vegetarian.  I also love lentils which the are very common in Indian cooking.  I find it hard to cook Indian food though.  There is always some spice element that is missing when I try and do it myself.

That certainly doesn’t stop me from trying though and I am definitely improving.  Hubby said this was the best I had made so far.  The kids weren’t so impressed.  They would prefer macaroni and cheese or “peaner” and honey.  Except for G Man.  He had it like a champ and even ate some of the leftovers for lunch the next day.  Hubby was actually upset that there weren’t any leftovers.  This from a man who usually avoids leftovers at all costs.

Lentil and Potato Dal

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Lentil and Potato Dal


  • 1 cup dry lentils, I used french lentils
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp cardamom (more to taste)
  • 1 mild dried chile, diced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (you can add more for more spice)
  • 6 oz tomato paste


  1. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer about 30 minutes until lentils and potatoes are tender. Add more water as needed.
  2. Once the lentils and potatoes are tender at the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
  3. Top with chopped fresh cilantro.
  4. Serve with warm naan bread.



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  1. Yummy! This looks delicious and so simple in comparison to a lot of Indian recipes I’ve tried. I’m always looking for ways to use lentils – I have almost 20 lbs in my cupboard from a csa that I need to use before I get more this year! I’ll try this for sure!

  2. I really like the look and sound of this Dal. I am not real good with Indian spices myself but these sound like a winning combination. That flat bread looks delicious too.

  3. Been meaning to make lentil dal for a long time, I just need to get the spices for this beautiful diah!

  4. This looks so easy and delicious! I make a version with red lentils, omitting the potatoes and served over rice, but will have to try yours. Thanks for sharing!

  5. What kind of potatoes did you use?

    • I used yellow but any kind would be just fine. I left mine unpeeled. If you use russet I would peel them.


  1. Weekly Menu Plan | Thrifty Veggie Mama | Thrifty Veggie Mama - [...] Thursday:  A variation of Lentil Dal [...]

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