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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen


Urad Dal, Fully Loaded


Whole matpe lentils, urad dal, is a delicious foundation to many Indian dishes from dals in the North to idli and dosa in the South. Usually simply made with seasonings alone, this plant-based version ditches oil and ghee and is chock full of veggies. 


Urad dal is highly nutritious, loaded with protein, fiber, folate, potassium, calcium, iron, niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin and more. Enjoy with whole grains or with whole wheat roti.


Prep time   90 minutes                       Cooking time   30 minutes                              Serves 4-6




1 ½  cups whole urad dal (1) ( whole white matpe lentils), yields about 3 cups cooked

3 cups water

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 inch ginger root, minced

1 teaspoon garam masala (1)

1 teaspoon amchur (green mango powder) (1)


1 red onion, medium dice

Veggie broth or water to deglaze pan

1 carrot, medium dice

1 teaspoon cumin seed

5 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 red or green chilis, minced

1” ginger root, minced

2-3 small potatoes, scrubbed, medium dice

1 zucchini, medium dice

1 yellow squash, medium dice

½ teaspoon asafoetida (aka hing) (1), freshly ground

¼-¾ teaspoon cayenne or your favorite ground chili, (optional or to taste)

1 large tomato, medium dice

A few grinds of black or white pepper

Sea salt to taste (optional)


Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves or microgreens of your choice


(1) Found online or at South Asian grocers




Wash urad dal. In a deep saucepan add dal, cover with water by 1”.  Add turmeric, ginger, garam masala and amchur. Boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to steep for 45 minutes or until cooked but not mushy. Add some water if it is absorbed fully. Set aside.


In a deep skillet dry sauté onion over medium heat until it begins to carmelize, adhere and darken pan. Deglaze pan with a few tablespoons of liquid. Add carrot and cumin seed and cook for a few minutes, adding broth in small amounts to prevent adhesion.


Add garlic, ginger, fresh chili, and after a minute, add potato. Cook for 2 minutes and add zucchini and yellow squash with asafoetida and cayenne, if using.


When veggies are nearly soft add dal with as much of the cooking water as you like to achieve the consistency you prefer, dense or more soupy.


Add tomato and season with pepper and salt, if using.  Taste and correct seasonings as you like.


Plate in heated bowls. Garnish, serve and dig in!


Urad Dal, Fully Loaded