Red Lentil Dhal
Masoor di Dhal
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
A beautiful lentil dhal flavoured with a spicy tomato masala.
This is my chicken soup when I'm feeling under the weather, my staple when I don't know what else to cook, my cuddle blanket when I'm feeling sorry for myself and my tonic when I've indulged a little too much the night before. It's a poor man's main dish and a king's side dish – it's the simple, humble masoor di dhal.
It forms a huge part of so many Indians' diets because it's cheap and is a great source of protein for the vast number of vegetarians. As children we didn't know the names of all the different lentils so we would call this yellow dhal (even though it's made with red lentils) and that's what my children call it too.
Cooked with whole cumin seeds in a tomato based masala finished with crispy onions and fresh coriander.
To get the main ingredients for my dhal recipe,check out my dhal recipe kit here.
- 200g red lentils, washed
- 900ml water (approx.)
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tbsp ghee or rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 dried red chilli
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 chilli, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fenugreek leaves
- 1 tsp of garam masala
- Handful of coriander, chopped
- Place lentils in a pan with the salt, cover with the water and bring to the boil.
- Remove the froth, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Check the lentils are cooked by squeezing them between your fingers. Once soft remove from the heat.
- In a frying pan heat the oil or ghee. Add the dried chilli, bay leaf and the cumin seeds.
- When the seeds sizzle, add the onion and garlic and fry until lightly browned. Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes, ginger, turmeric, fenugreek and the chopped chilli. Gently let the ingredients cook down for about 10 minutes to make a thick masala paste.
- Add a ladle full of the lentils (dhal) to the masala paste in the frying pan and stir together, then empty all the contents back into the pan with the lentils and stir. It should have the consistency of a thick soup but if it's too thick just add a little boiling water and remove from the heat. If you prefer it thicker just leave it on the heat to reduce until you get the consistency you want.
- Check the seasoning and add a little salt if required. Stir in the garam masala and coriander to serve.
I always serve this as a side at all my Indian dinner parties, because it's quick and easy, looks incredibly vibrant and tastes wonderful. It goes well with many main dishes but my personal favourite is as a side with chicken biryani. I also like to serve this as flavoursome soup for a quick lunch with some roti or crusty buttered bread to dip.
|Typical values*||per Serving|
|of which saturates (g)||1.9|
|of which sugars (g)||2.3|