Wednesday, 16 July 2014


I love Dhal – thick, gently spiced, cheap as chips  and very filling. You could add cooked diced chicken or lamb to it and some stock to loosen it more, which would give it more of a Dhansak curry feel. Also nice!

Serves 2-3

150g dried split yellow peas
500-750ml water
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds (black onion seeds)
½ tbsp cumin seeds
A pinch of ground turmeric
10 curry leaves
1 onion, sliced
1-2 large green chillies, sliced (deseed if you don’t like too much heat)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp garam masala
3 tomatoes, chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon
Fresh coriander, chopped
2 shallots, sliced into rings (optional)
Naan or tortillas, warmed, to serve

1 Wash and drain the split peas in a sieve and place in a saucepan. Pour 500ml of water over, boil for 10 mins, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 35 minutes, or until the peas are very soft. You may need to add the extra 250 ml water if it evaporates too fast. Season.
2 Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the spices and curry leaves and fry over a medium heat until the mustard seeds start to pop.
3 Add the onion, chillies and garlic and stir well. Cook for another 3 minutes, then add the garam masala.
4 Mix well, and then tip into the cooked dhal with the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, adding more water if the mixture becomes too thick.
5 Add the lemon juice and coriander. (If you like fry the shallot in a little oil and garam masala until crisp and tip over the dhal)  Serve with warm flatbreads for scooping.

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