South Indian red lentil dhal

A South Indian red lentil dhal, perfect with a bowl of rice, veg and yoghurt.

Serves: 2 people | Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 40 mins | Ready in: 50 mins

Vegan | Nut-Free | Gluten-Free


  • 100g red lentils
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • Thumb of ginger, peeled and chopped finely (about 6g)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped finely
  • 1 tomato, quatered (optional)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp spice mix (fenugreek, mustard seeds and cumin)
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


  • Rinse the lentils in a medium saucepan under cold water a few times until the water is clear.
  • Add enough water to cook the lentils, add turmeric, salt to taste and bring to boil on a medium/high heat.
  • Once the water is boiling bring down to a low heat and simmer till lentils are cooked and start breaking apart. Then turn off and put to one side.
  • In a small saucepan heat 1tbsp of oil till very hot and you see steam rising. Add the spices and wait till the mustard seeds start to split. After 30 secs add to cooked lentils and immediately cover with a lid.
  • Add the rest of the oil to the small saucepan and add the onion, chilli, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the cooked onions, ginger... to the cooked lentils. Stir gently and put back on heat for 5 more mins.

Tip 1: Leftovers and no microwave? No worries! Just add some rice and dhal in a small frying pan and cook till heated, mixing every so often so in is combined.

Tip 2: Another way to add the spices, is just to heat the oil till very hot, add the spices, wait till the mustard seeds start popping, then add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli. This way the mustard seeds provide more flavour.

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