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Tuesday 5 October 2010

Sluttishly Savoury: Delicious Dhal

Dhal is an excellent comfort food, and this recipe makes a delicious lentilly stew that will warm you from the inside out. You can thin it down with some water to make it more like a soup, but I like it straight out of the pan, thick and spicy and filling. It uses two different types of lentils, so you get interesting textures as the red ones break down and the green ones keep their shape.

Adapted from this recipe.

You will need:
  • 125g red lentils
  • 125g green lentils
  • 600ml water
  • 1 onion
  • 225g tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2.5cm fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 green chillis, finely chopped
  • Garam masala
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
Make it!

1. Mix the lentils, cover them with the water and leave to soak for a few hours.

2. Roughly chop half the onion and finely slice the rest.

3. Cut the tomatoes into chunks - roughly eight pieces each.

4. Heat the oil over a medium-heat. Fry the garlic, roughly chopped onion and tomato for five minutes, until it forms a golden-brown paste.

5. Pour in the lentils and their water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about half an hour until the red lentils have broken down.

6. In a small frying pan, fry the mustard seeds, turmeric and chilli powder until the mustard seeds pop. Add the ginger, the rest of the onions and the chillies.

7. Cook for five minutes and pour into the lentil mixture.

8. Add the garam masala and coriander and stir well.

If you're going to freeze it, do so after step 5. Adding the freshly fried onions and spices at the end brings a zingy vibrancy to the dish. It's well worth the extra faff, I promise.

Photo taken from
bobjudge's Flickr photostream.


  1. YUM! I make a similar Sri-Lankan version with roasted curry powder instead of garam masala, chopped garlic instead of ginger, and a can of coconut milk instead of water.

  2. Yummmm I am making this! We only have green lentils though so I'm gonna do some mushing, I like it mushy! Uber-stodge! I like the sound of the sri-lankan version, coconut milk makes everything taste so lovely. Definitely need to try it!


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