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Red lentil dhal

Dhal is classic comfort food, served in various iterations across the subcontinent. We'd happily eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's even better the next day, so make a double batch to enjoy later.

You'll need

250 gm (1¼ cups) red lentils, rinsed, drained 50 gm finely grated ginger 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp Sri Lankan curry powder 1 cinnamon quill 500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk 8 fresh curry leaves, plus extra, fried, to serve 3 onions, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 long green chillies, thinly sliced 60 gm coconut oil 2 tsp brown mustard seeds 60 ml (¼ cup) coconut cream Juice of 1 lime, plus extra wedges, to serve Steamed basmati rice, coriander and warmed roti (optional), to serve


  • 01
  • Combine lentils, ginger, turmeric, curry powder, cinnamon quill, coconut milk, curry leaves, a third of the onion, half the garlic and 1 green chilli in a saucepan. Add 350ml water, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until lentils are breaking down (20-25 minutes).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, melt coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add mustard seeds, remaining onion, garlic and chilli and fry, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender and browned (5-6 minutes; be careful, mustard seeds and oil will spit). Remove from the heat and stir into lentils when they are ready. Add coconut cream and lime juice and season generously to taste with sea salt. Serve hot with rice, fried curry leaves, coriander and roti. 

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Crisp cold lager.

Featured in

May 2016

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