Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Vegan/VegetarianStew
Cuisine: Persian
Serves: 3-4
  • 4 ounces seedless tamarind (may substitute with 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice or more to taste)
  • ½ cup hot water, for soaking the tamarind (leave it out if using lemon juice)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced small
  • 5 medium shallots, peeled and roughly chopped (or a large yellow onion thinly sliced)
  • 3 TBSP ghee or butter (for vegan version use vegetable oil)
  • One 3-4 inch fresh turmeric, peeled and minced (may substitute with ¼ tsp extra ground turmeric)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp Persian meat spice or your favorite curry powder
  • A pinch each of ground cinnamon and cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper (more to taste, if you like it even spicier)
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 ½ TBSP)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, more to taste
  • 2 ½ cups hot water
  1. Pick through red lentils, rinse under cold water and drain. Set aside.
  2. Break up the seedless tamarind into small pieces and add it to a medium bowl. Discard any hard shells or possible overlooked seeds. Pour ½ cup boiling water over it, smash with a fork and let it rest for 10 minutes. Stir several times to create a thick sauce. Place a strainer with small holes over a bowl and use a fork to force the sauce through it. You should be able to end up with about ⅓ cup thick smooth sauce. Set it aside.
  3. Heat ghee or butter in a nonstick 3-Qt saucepan. Add the roughly chopped shallots and saute over medium low heat until golden brown. Remove 3-4 tablespoons of the shallots from the saucepan and set aside for later. Add the minced fresh turmeric and garlic to the remaining fried shallots. Saute 2-3 minutes over low heat until tender. Add 1 teaspoon tomato paste and saute for another minute until aromatic.
  4. Add red lentils, diced potatoes, kosher salt, spices, and 2 ½ cups hot water to the saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Cover the saucepan, lower the heat to the marking between medium low and low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes and lentils are tender. Stir several times to prevent sticking.
  5. Add the reserved tamarind sauce and the reserved fried shallots to the saucepan with the cooked lentils and other ingredients.
  6. Cover the saucepan and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the Dal Adas has thickened and the flavors have blended well. Stir several times to prevent sticking and burning. Add more water as needed to maintain a soft oatmeal consistency; it should not be thin like soup but it should not be too thick or dry either.
  7. Serve this delicious spicy Dal Adas with Kateh (quick Persian rice) or a side of toasted bread.
Recipe by Persian Mama at https://persianmama.com/dal-adas/