I know this isn’t something that is baked but it goes so well with so many different breads especially Rye Tin Loaf.  It’s also one of the first things I ever cooked.  My Mother taught me when I was around 8.  It’s pretty simple but takes ages to perfect and get right for your tastebuds.  Most of the ingredients are widely available at supermarkets now but if you don’t have any, try asking an Indian neighbour or your local Indian restaurant.

This is a brilliant recipe to get over a cold and cough.  I suppose it’s the Indian equivalent of the Jewish Chicken Soup!  All the spices and chilli are great for blood circulation and tickling that sore throat plus the tumeric is a wonderspice with it’s healing properties.

This makes enough for about 4 people to have soup sized portions.  It’s around 1 cup of lentils per person minus 1 cup for the pot.  That’s how I remember it anyway!

You’ll need

  • Half tin chopped tomatoes or 3 large tomatoes – chopped into squares with seeds
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil – I use sunflower
  • 1 tsp small mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small green chilli – de-seeded and cut in half
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 or 6 curry leaves
  • 3 cups of red lentils (or 1 tin)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin and coriander powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp minced/crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Handful of chopped coriander for garnish

To make it

  1. Put the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chilli, cinnamon stick, cloves and curry leaves in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan.  It’s ready when a mustard seed fizzles and pops.
  3. Now, you may need to use the saucepan lid to protect yourself from the fizzling and spitting as the tomatoes hit the oil so now is a good time to grab it!
  4. Throw the spices into the heated oil.  Let them fizzle and pop for about 20 seconds and then quickly add the tomatoes.
  5. Turn the heat down and add the salt, tumeric, chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder, crushed garlic and ginger and cook out for a minute or so.  Try not to stir to much and if you do, use a fork not a wooden spoon (which the spices stick to).
  6. Add the lentils and then about 6 cups or 2 tins of water.
  7. Give this a quick stir, cover and leave to simmer on a low heat until the lentils are fully cooked.  They should be soft and squishy.  Keep an eye on the water level during simmering. If the heat is too high, it will get too dry or stick.
  8. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.
  9. Leave to simmer for a few more minutes and then add the chopped coriander.
  10. Serve piping hot!

You might also like: This Dhal is Fantastic! 

5 responses to “Dhal

  1. Pingback: A sugar and spice kinda week | The Botanical Baker

  2. You are right, dhal has the medicinal properties that Chicken soup has. I love it too! X


  3. Pingback: My Weekend with the Botanical Baker » SmarterFitter

  4. This will be my most perfect dinner tonight. Along with some Gongura pickle.


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