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This is by far the easiest Indian dal to make. It’s great to have alsongside another curry, especially Lamb Madras or Goan Fish & Prawn Curry. There’s nothing to it really but it’s extremely satisfying to say the least.


For the Dal

225g red lentils
1 onion (chopped)
1 tomato (chopped)
1 cup coconut milk
2 fresh green chillies (finely chopped)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

For the Tarka
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 onion (finely chopped)
10 curry leaves
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh coriander (finely chopped)

Put the lentils in a large pan with 2 cups of water, onions, tomato, coconut milk, chillies, turmeric and cumin and corriander powders and gently bring to the boil.
Cook for about 25 minutes. The lentils will dissolve and lose their shape. If the sauce beomes too thick then add some more water (about 1/4 cup). Remove from the heat.

To make the tarka, heat the vegetable in a small pan over a medium/low heat. Add the cumin and mustard seeds, cover and when they begin to pop, add the onions and curry leaves. Fry until the onion is golden brown.
Pour the tarka into the dal and stir in. Turn on the heat and bring the dal to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the fresh coriander and check the dal for seasoning – adding more salt & pepper as you see fit.

Serve together with another, more substantial curry dish and rice. Or as a lunchtime snack with chapati, paratha or naan.

  • ding

    made this the other night. so easy and delicious! AND it kept on getting better the next day and next. i’ve been having it for breakfast. 🙂

  • Kendra

    Adding a 1/4 tspn of Asafoetida (Hing) powder to the tarka will help to reduce the gas inducing quality of lentils and beans (chick peas/kidney beans) and even in cabbage dishes.

    • admin

      I don’t find lentils to be a problem for that. :). Cabbage on the other hand.

      I have some asafoetida but find it stinks more than the ‘gas’ i’d produce. I shall give it a try next time cabbage comes into the Indian equation.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Craig

    I made this tonight. It was awesome. And really easy too.
    Thanks for the recipe


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