Spiced Red Dal

A Dal (Lentil) is quite a staple food at home – not only is it nutritious and health and full of protein, both I and Meenakshi love it. Now the way we usually make it at home is a little different that the version I came across from Yotam Ottolenghi. I tried it and was excellent – different from what I am use to cooking.

The ingredients you need are:

  • 200g split red lentils (Dhuli Masoor dal in Hindi)
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 40g ginger, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 mild green chilli
  • 1½ tsp black mustard seeds (which is called either Rai or Sarsu in Hindi)
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander (Dhania in Hindi)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (Jeera in Hindi)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric (Haldi in Hindi)
  • ½ tsp paprika (Lal Mirch in Hindi)
  • 10 curry leaves (Kadi Patta in Hindi)
  • 300g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp fenugreek (optional) (Methi seeds in Hindi)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (optional) (Hing in Hindi)
  • Salt
  • 150g Greek yogurt
  • 75g finely diced cucumber
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 70g unsalted butter (I skipped this)
  • 1½ tbsp lime juice


  1. Wash the lentils in plenty of water, drain and soak in 350ml of fresh water for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the coriander bunch somewhere around its centre to get a leafy top half and a stem/root bottom half. Roughly chop the leaves.
  3. Put the stem half in the bowl of a food processor, add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli – all roughly broken – and pulse a few times to chop up without turning into a paste.
  4. Put the mustard seeds in a heavy-based pot and place over medium heat. When they begin to pop, add the onion mix and sunflower oil, stir and cook on low heat for 7 minutes.
  5. Add the spices and curry leaves, and continue cooking and stirring for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Now add the lentils and their soaking water, the tomatoes, sugar, fenugreek, asafoetida and a pinch of salt.
  7. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are fully cooked.
  8. Before serving, whisk together the yogurt, cucumber, oil and some salt.
  9. Stir into the lentils the butter, lime juice and chopped coriander leaves, taste and season generously with salt. I skipped the butter as there was enough oil originally put.
  10. Divide into bowls, spoon yogurt on top and garnish with coriander.

Here are the results (Yum):

IMG_2911 IMG_2912

Published by

Amit Bahree

This blog is my personal blog and while it does reflect my experiences in my professional life, this is just my thoughts. Most of the entries are technical though sometimes they can vary from the wacky to even political – however that is quite rare. Quite often, I have been asked what’s up with the “gibberish” and the funny title of the blog? Some people even going the extra step to say that, this is a virus that infected their system (ahem) well. [:D] It actually is quite simple, and if you have still not figured out then check out this link – whats in a name?

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