Healthy zero oil masoor dal

No tadka Masoor dal | Zero oil red lentils with roasted cumin and black pepper

Course Main course or side
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 cup red lentils laal masoor dal
  • 3 cups of water
  • inch A ½ long piece of ginger grated or minced
  • 1 medium sized tomato chopped small
  • 1 green chili chopped fine or minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ tsp salt OR to taste
  • ¼ tsp amchoor powder khatai
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder haldi
  • A pinch of asafoetida heeng

To roast for dry tempering:

  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds


  1. Rinse red lentils thoroughly a few times and soak for 15-20 minutes. Then pressure cook for 2 whistles at medium gas, adding all the stuff listed above, except black pepper and cumin seeds.
  2. Once the pressure eases off (in about 10-15 minutes), open the cooker, and mix the dal well, mashing it a bit with a ladle or back of a round spoon.
  3. Check for seasoning and thickness and add salt or water as per desired consistency and taste. ** If you do add water, make sure you bring the dal to a boil afterwards otherwise it will taste undercooked.

To make the dry tempering:

  1. Heat a griddle (tawa) or a flat pan at medium gas. When it gets fairly hot, turn the gas to low and throw in the cumin seeds and dry roast them for about 30 seconds at low. Keep spreading them with a spatula to avoid them burning.
  2. When they start turning brown, add black pepper, mix and immediately turn the gas off.
  3. Shred off this dry tempering onto the dal and mix well. Keep it covered for a minute, then transfer to a serving dish and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

You can also add cumin powder while cooking the dal instead of roasting it at the end. Just sprinkle some black pepper before serving.

You may also add some black salt (kala namak) while cooking to get more flavours.

If you are cooking in a pan-> Cook in 4 cups of water and cook with a lid on for about 35-40 minutes. Once cooked, proceed as above.