Dhal (Lentil Curry)

Our delicious Dhal with a dollop of yogurt and fresh coriander

Lentils are one of those staples that everyone should have a bag of in the house. Nutritious and surprisingly delicious if you give them a chance!


  • 1 tablespoon oil + 1 tablespoon butter
  • Hot pepper(s) of choice, chopped finely (optional, you can also add pepper flakes)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 carrot (bite sized pieces)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (we used paste)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or use 6 fresh curry leaves if you can find them)
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup lentils (we used yellow)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


Rinse lentils and leave to soak in plenty of water for 1 hour then drain (be sure to pick through them to pull out any rocks or sticks).

Heat oil and butter in a saucepan over high heat. Add onions and hot peppers (if using) and fry until softened.

Lower heat to medium, add garlic, ginger, curry, tomatoes, and cumin. Cook until tomatoes start to break down and thicken to a paste – about 2 minutes.

Add lentils, water, turmeric and salt. Stir, bring to simmer, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour stirring occasionally.

Your broth will thicken as time goes on

Remove lid and simmer gently for another 30 minutes until it thickens. The dal is ready when some lentils are still intact but some have broken down to thicken the sauce.

Stir through garam masala at the end and salt to taste.

Serve Dal over rice, garnished with a sprig of coriander and a dollop of yogurt if desired.

Adapted from Nagi’s recipe @ https://www.recipetineats.com/dal-indian-lentil-curry/