Curried Lentils – Daal


We never had beans/lentils growing up. As a young child, seeing my Indian friends eat daal seemed a little odd to me, it looked like a weird, lumpy yellow mess. It’s funny how our tastes change, because now I could eat daal by the bucket-loads! It’s highly nutritious and darn tasty!

I always thought daal was quite complicated to make, but if you have an hour or two whilst you’re in the house, you can whip up a batch really easily. It tastes wholesome, warming and full of spices – a real treat!



Serves 2 as a side dish with rice

Adapted from “Best Ever Indian Cookbook”, by Mridula Beljekar



  • 3 T butter/oil
  • ½ onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 fresh green chili, deseeded and chopped (or dried chili flakes, to taste)
  • ½ T finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 100 g (½ c) yellow lentils
  • 480 ml (2 c) water
  • 1 T roasted garlic flakes
  • ½ t cumin
  • ½ t ground coriander
  • 100 g (3 oz) tinned crushed tomatoes
  • A little lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 T coriander leaves (cilantro), chopped for garnish



1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the onions, chili and ginger for about 5 minutes or until golden.

2. Stir in the lentils and water, then bring to the boil, reduce the heat and partly cover the pan.

3. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 50-60 minutes or until the consistency is similar to a very thick soup. Add additional water if the mixture becomes too dry at any time.

4. Stir in the garlic flakes, cumin and ground coriander, then season to taste. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes, uncovered and stirring frequently.

5. Stir in the tomatoes, adjust the seasoning, adding lemon juice to taste if necessary. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve. Enjoy!

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