{Red Lentil Dahl}

This is a nice little vegetarian dinner for two peeps.  Eating dahl just makes me feel good, great even, its like a bowl of magic.  I sometimes get a bit over cooking animals, we go whole weeks without it and its good you know.  Its good for our bodies and good for the environment, the house smells nicer and you feel lighter and bouncier. I'll never be a vegetarian due to the existence of bacon but I do appreciate a good vegetarian recipe and this is one of our favourites, its also dead cheap which is no bad thing.

...the dahl
100g red lentils
1/2 tsp turmeric
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chilli powder
sea salt flakes

...to serve
cooked rice
greek yoghurt
crispy fried shallots
coriander leaves

Rinse the lentils then cover them with a cm of cold water and bring them to a boil in a saucepan. Once the scum rises to the top, skim it off and add the turmeric. Turn it down to simmer while you make the tarka, take them off the heat once the water is absorbed and they are tender.

For the tarka, heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and add the cumin seeds. Once they darken, add the onion and cook until soft and colouring on the edges. Add the garlic and cook gently for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes, spices and a generous pinch of sea salt and cook until the tomatoes soften and the whole thing reduces into a paste and releases oil back into the pan, around 15 minutes.

Add in the cooked lentils, and gently simmer for another 5 minutes or so, or until the whole thing comes together. It should neither be too thick nor too watery. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding the juice of half a lemon. Serve with rice and topped with a dollop of yogurt some crispy fried shallots, and a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves.


  1. Woman after my own heart. I often say that as long as pigs roam this earth, I'll never be able to be a complete vegetarian. But I do eat meat-free a lot of the time, and a red lentil dahl is one of my favourite comfort food dishes. Such a nostalgic dish for me - reminds me of many Sunday lunches around my grandmother's kitchen table.


Post a Comment