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I love dhal, it’s so easy to make. I’ve been trying to eat a little healthier of late and that meant using less nasty ingredients. This can be tricky with some indian food that contains a lot of ghee or coconut milk. My favourite dhal, Parippu has a lot of coconut milk, so I was looking for something that was healthier. Most dhal’s are coconut free so luckily I didn’t have to search far. I also reduced the amount of oil in this recipe to make it even more healthy. I still ate 1/2 the pan though…


1 1/2 cups split red lentils
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons fresh coriander stalks (chopped)
1 tomato (diced)
1 green chilli pepper (seeded and sliced)

For the tarka:
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves

In a large pan, add the lentils, chilli and coriander stalks and 4 cups of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 25 minutes until the lentils are soft. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

To make the tarka, In a small pan heat the oil until hot, add the cumin seeds and simmer for 2-3 minutes until dark. Add to this the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garam masala and cayenne pepper and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat then tip into the lentils, stir well. Add the salt and adjust to your taste.

Sprinkle with the coriander leaves and serve with rice or bread. It’s great to accompany another curry. Try the Chicken Chukka for something quite spectacular.