This dal makes a wonderfully flavored lunch or dinner. The bitter gourd keeps true to its name. It is quite bitter, but it is a perfect pairing with this delicious dal. With every mouthful, you get that ever-so-slightly-bitter taste, which is a delightful surprise.

Masoor Dal with Bitter Gourd Chips [Vegan]





Cooking Time




Bitter Gourd Chips  

  • 2 cups thinly sliced bitter gourd (use frozen if you can’t find fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2–4 tablespoon oil

Masoor Dal  

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 green chilies, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils (split masoor dal), rinsed
  • 4 cups water


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder


For the Bitter Gourd:

  1. For the bitter gourd chips, toss the bitter gourd slices with the rice flour, turmeric, cumin and salt.
  2. Leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. The salt will help release the moisture from the bitter gourd.  

For the Dal:

  1. To make the dal, heat the oil on high heat in a deep pan. Once hot, add the onion and cook until it is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic and the chilies and then cook for a few minutes or until the raw smell of the garlic has gone.
  3. Add the tomatoes and stir while cooking for 3 to 4 minutes until the tomatoes are somewhat mushy. Add the rinsed lentils and stir around for just a few seconds to mix everything together.
  4. Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.  
  5. Once the bitter gourd has rested, heat the oil in a shallow nonstick pan on high heat.
  6. Get the bitter gourd slices ready by brushing off any excess flour and placing them in the pan. Make sure you don’t overlap the slices. Give the slices 2 to 3 minutes on each side on high heat. Bitter gourd needs a lot of oil so you may have to replenish the oil in the pan as the slices cook.
  7. Turn the slices over once they turn a dark brown color.
  8. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.  

For the Tempering

  1. Prepare the tempering by heating the oil on high heat. Once hot, add the cumin.
  2. When the cumin starts to sputter, after a few seconds, quickly add the onion and garlic.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion begins to brown at the edges.
  4. Add the red chili powder and stir continuously while the onion browns further, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.  
  5. To serve, mix the bitter gourd chips into the dal, reserving some for garnish.
  6. Top with the tempering. Garnish with some more bitter gourd chips, cilantro and sliced cucumber on the side.  


This dal goes very well with just plain basmati rice. 


Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 375 | Carbs: 36 g | Fat: 23 g | Protein: 14 g | Sodium: 32 mg | Sugar: 1 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.