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lentil dhal

Lentil Dhal


A warming and aromatic dhal packed with plant protein and flavour. 

  • Serves: 2-4 |
    2-4 servings
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 20 mins |
  • Cook Time : 30 mins
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3 C (750 ml) water
1 C (500 ml) split yellow lentils


1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) mustard seeds
1 Tbsp (15 ml) cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 green chilli, halved lengthways
10 curry leaves
3 garlic cloves, chopped
a big knob ginger, chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) coriander powder
1 tsp (5 ml) turmeric powder
1 tsp (5 ml) chilli powder (optional)
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml)  brown sugar

To Finish 

1 Tbsp (15 ml) garam masala
50 g butter
½ C (125 ml) fresh cream or coconut cream (for a vegan version)

To Serve

double cream plain yoghurt or coconut yoghurt (for a vegan version)
fresh coriander, chopped
naan, warmed


Add the water and lentils to a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are soft. Remove the pot from the heat and drain the lentils, reserving the water.


Set a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, mustard seeds, cumin seeds,  cinnamon, green chillies and curry leaves. Fry for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften and is translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, if using, and fry for 2 minutes to cook the spices. Add the tomatoes and brown sugar and mix to combine. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5-8 minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down.

Add the lentils to the pan and mix to combine. Add some of the reserved water little by little until the curry loosens up a bit and starts to look creamy. Add the garam masala, butter, cream/coconut cream and mix to combine. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool while you warm the naan. Serve with dollops of yoghurt/coconut cream/yoghurt, fresh coriander and naan.