Red Lentil Dahl

My recipe for Dahl uses red lentils, fresh tomato and a whole medley of spices!


  • Little coconut oil (for frying the onion and garlic)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 birds eye chili finely chopped (this makes a mild to medium curry, add more for a hotter taste!)
  • 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger root grated
  • 1 cup of Dried red lentils
  • 2 cups of Water
  • 2 large chopped tomatoes
  • lemon juice from half a lemon
  • Big handful of fresh coriander chopped (or you can you parsley if you prefer)

Now for the spices…

  • Curry powder
  • Garam marsala
  • Ground ginger
  • ground coriander
  • ground tumeric
  • ground cumin
  • ground asafoetida
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 4 cardamon pods
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Black pepper

Firstly, prepare the spices. I don’t use any set measurements for the spices, using a little bit of guestimating! However as a rough guide I would say 1 tsp of curry powder, 1 tsp garam marsala, 1/4 tsp of the ground ginger, asafoetida, chili powder, cayenne and cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of the ground coriander, tumeric and cumin. For the cardamon crack the pods open and place the middle contents into a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder, add the rest of the spices, mix well and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions, chili and garlic until soft. Add the fresh ginger and mix of spices and cook for a couple more minutes. Rinse the dry red lentils in cold water and then add to the pan and stir, coating the lentils in the spices. Pour in the water and bring to the boil.

Once the water is boiling, place the lid on the pan and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally. As it cooks the lentils will absorb the liquid and become soft, if you think the dahl has become to thick just add more water for your preferred consistency.

cooking daal

When the lentils are soft and the consistency of the dahl is thick enough stir in the tomatoes, the majority of the coriander (leaving a little to sprinkle on top), lemon juice and some pepper. Cook for a further few minutes, stirring, then serve.

I like to serve mine sprinkled with some fresh chopped tomato and coriander and a dollop of yogurt.


Here I served it with a yogurt and mint dip and curried roasted butternut squash.

Not only are homemade curries so much healthy than ready made or take-away (lower in saturated fat and salt), but they are so much cheaper, you can add additional vegetables or meat and they taste so good!

One thought on “Red Lentil Dahl

  1. Pingback: Curry Night! | nuts about healthy living

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