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Wednesday 21 July 2010

Sluttishly Vegetarian: Chana Dall

Chana Dall is a genius dish. It's comforting and cosy, like mashed potato, but not nearly as unhealthy. You can make it as spicy as you like (just tweak the chillies and chilli powder). It can work as a tasty side dish, or you can serve it up as a vegan main course with a big heap of rice or chapattis. Need I go on?

Of course, it's not the speediest of recipes, as you need to remember to soak the lentils for half an hour first, plus there's the boiling and the simmering. But none of it takes an awful lot of skill or effort, so I still count it as an easy dish. I promise you it's worth the wait!

Chana Dall (serves 2 as a main)

You'll need:

  • 100g split yellow lentils
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 red chilli, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tbsp of minced or grated fresh root ginger
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
  • Fresh coriander, chopped, to serve
Make it!
  • First you'll need to wash the lentils in a couple of changes of water, then leave them to soak in plenty of water for 30 minutes or so. 
  • Drain the lentils and bung them in a pan with some fresh cold water. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce to a simmer for a further 40 minutes.
  • In a saucepan, heat some oil and add the cumin seeds. Stir them around for a minute or so, until they become fragrant.
  • Add the chopped onion and sweat it gently until it is nice and soft, about 15 minutes.
  • Add the chopped chilli, garlic and ginger, cook gently until soft.
  • Add the tomato, turmeric, coriander and chilli powder, continue to cook gently until the lentils are done.
  • Drain the lentils and stir through the onion mixture. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and dig in.


  1. That sounds yummy. I love all Channa curries so have written it down and will be passing it on to the husband later ;)

  2. I love dahl too but for some reason my split peas always take about 2 days of vigourous boiling to go soft!

  3. @alexthepink I just made this for my dinner this evening - for the second time, it's such a delicious recipe! Thank you :D


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