Masoor dal is an important part of the diet in many parts of the world, especially in the Indian subcontinent, which has a large vegetarian population. It is basically split lentil without skin and is red in colour. It does not need soaking prior to cooking as it is a soft dal and cooks quickly. When cooked, masoor dal turns a soft golden colour and has a pleasant earthy flavour. With 26 per cent protein, these lentils have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any plant-based food after soybeans and hemp.