Dahl is a very ‘un-photographic’ dish….. it is merely a pale beige mush with texture, but the flavour and nutritional value makes up for this ‘ugly duckling’ !


For 8-10 servings you need

500g red lentils

10ml turmeric

25ml vegetable stock powder

10ml cumin seeds

20ml butter or ghee

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic crushed

10ml garam masala

1-3 green chillies, finely sliced, or more if desired!!

Salt to season

Optional: handful of fresh coriander

To prepare

Place the lentils, turmeric and salt in a deep saucepan, cover with about 6cm cold water.

Allow the mixture to boil and then turn it down to simmer until the lentils are plump and the mixture resembles porridge.

I the meantime place the cumin seeds in a dry pan and allow them to toast for a few minutes, watching that they do not scorch. Remove the seeds and set them aside.

Now melt the butter or ghee and fry the onions, garlic, masala and chillies until the mixture is golden.

Add this mixture and the cumin seeds to the boiling lentils after about 15 minutes.

Continue simmering the lentils, stirring more often as it thickens to prevent it from catching on the base of your pan.

It is ready when the mixture is porridge-like and some of the lentils break up.

Taste and add salt if necessary.

As chillies differ in heat you may want to add extra chilli. If then blend one or two raw chillies with some of the warm dahl and add this to the mixture.

As it looks pretty dull I serve it with a sprinkling of raw coriander.