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Dal (Indian Lentil Curry)

You suppose it’s unattainable to make a Dal like Indian eating places with out searching large and much for unique spices? Assume once more! Stuffed with flavour, economical and nutritious, this Indian Dahl lentil curry is outrageously scrumptious. And it’s simple!

Homemade India lentil curry (Dal) served over rice in a rustic white bowl, ready to be eaten.

Dal, dahl, daal or dail!

OK, so we would by no means agree how you can spell it, however I believe we are able to all agree that Dahl is likely one of the most fun and fabulous transformations of the standard lentil!

Dal might be probably the most important staple dish in Indian delicacies. And it’s one of the vital magical and economical meals in the entire world. A handful of lentils, a couple of spices, and only a little bit of TLC transforms right into a pot of deliciousness that’s nutritious and makes your tastebuds dance.

Homemade Dal in a red cast iron pot, fresh off the stove ready to be served.

About this Dal

There are numerous variations of Dal all throughout India. Each family has their favorite, totally different areas use strategies and spices, generally it’s served as a meal, generally as a aspect.

This dal is a standard variation of yellow dal present in northern India referred to as dal tadka (aka dal tarka). “Tadka” refers to a garnish of spices tempered in sizzling oil that’s poured over the cooked dal on the final second so as to add a deliciously nutty aroma and flavour bump to the Dal. The tadka is totally non-obligatory, because the dal on this recipe continues to be filled with flavour by itself.

Best lentils for Dal - Channa Dal


Greatest lentils for Dal– This recipe requires Channa Dal which is a sort of yellow lentils which offers a super texture for this Dahl. I used to be astonished to find it’s bought at Coles grocery store (worldwide part). Yellow cut up peas is a terrific substitution although the prepare dinner occasions do differ (see recipe notes).

Different lentils can be utilized as nicely – see notes for instructions and notes on different lentil sorts.

Dal Spices– Dal is made with far much less spices than most Indian curries! This recipe requires a easy mixture of cumin, garam masala and turmeric. Garam masala is a spice combine present in supermarkets these days – it’s like a stronger curry powder.

Curry Leaves– Whether or not recent or dried, they actually do add that further something-something to the Dal! They’re bought within the recent herbs part at supermarkets and within the dried herbs and spices part.

Sizzling spices being poured into Dal

Tadka Spices– As talked about above, the recent oil spices is non-obligatory although if making this for firm I’d extremely advocate it, if even for the dramatic second when the scorching oil hits the Dahl (see the video!).

The Tadka is made with cumin seeds, black mustard seeds and dried pink chillies. You’ll possible want to seek out an Indian or different ethnic grocery shops to seek out black mustard seeds however don’t worry in the event you can’t discover them. The dominant flavour within the Tadka is cumin seeds. I wouldn’t even fear in the event you don’t have dried chillies.

Overhead photo of homemade India lentil curry (Dal) served over rice in a rustic white bowl with a side of chapati, ready to be eaten.

There’s a motive why Dal is the only most made dish all throughout India.

1.four billion Indians can’t be incorrect. Proper? 😂  – Nagi x

PS Strive slopping it up with Flatbread. Yesssss!!!!

Dal being scooped up by Chapati


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Dal (Indian Lentil Curry)

Recipe video beneath. There are numerous variations of Dal all throughout India. This can be a northern Indian model referred to as “dal tadka” that’s akin to what’s served in Indian eating places. “Tadka” refers to spices scorching in sizzling oil that’s poured over the dal. It’s dramatic and offers it a flavour bump – however is non-obligatory. I embody it for firm, and depart it out for midweek or if being served alongside different punchy flavoured curries. Warmth stage on this recipe is gentle – only a tickle. Should you prefer it fiery, attempt leaving within the seeds within the chillies and/or including some chilli powder. This can be a dal that’s flavourful to have as a important!


  • 2 tbsp / 30 g ghee (, or 1 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp/15g butter (Word 1))
  • 2 inexperienced cayenne chillies (, deseeded and lower into chunks (non-obligatory) (Word 2))
  • 1 medium onion (, finely chopped (brown or yellow))
  • 6 garlic cloves (, finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ginger (, finely chopped (1.5cm / three/5"))
  • eight recent curry leaves (, or 6 dried (Word three))
  • 1 tomato (, chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp floor cumin
  • 1 cup dried chana dal (, yellow cut up peas or different yellow lentils (Word four for different lentils))
  • four cups / 1 litre water
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/eight tsp garam marsala
  • three/four tsp salt

Tadka (non-obligatory):

  • 1 1/2 tbsp / 20g ghee (, or half every butter + oil (Word 1))
  • 1 eschalot or 1/four small onion (, halved lengthways and sliced (Word 5))
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds ((non-obligatory))
  • three dried chillies (, damaged in half, seeds eliminated (non-obligatory))

To serve

  • Contemporary coriander/cilantro sprigs ((non-obligatory))
  • Steamed basmati rice
  1. Soak Lentils: Rinse lentils and depart to soak in loads of water for 1 hour. Drain in colander.

  2. Warmth ghee/oil in a heavy primarily based saucepan over excessive warmth. Add inexperienced chillies and fry for a minute till beginning to blister.
  3. Add onions and fry till softened.
  4. Decrease warmth to medium, add garlic, ginger and curry leaves. Prepare dinner for 1 minute till garlic begins to show golden and smells wonderful.
  5. Add tomatoes and cumin, prepare dinner till tomatoes begin to break down and thicken to a paste – about 2 minutes.
  6. Add lentils, water, tumeric and salt. Stir, carry to simmer, cowl and simmer gently for 1 hour. Stir two or 3 times throughout the hour.
  7. Take away lid and simmer gently for 30 minutes to thicken, stirring once in a while. The dal is prepared when it has a consistency like porridge – some lentils must be intact however some have damaged all the way down to thicken the sauce.
  8. Stir by garam masala on the finish. Alter salt if desired.
  9. Pour over Tadka, if utilizing, and stir by.
  10. Serve Dal over rice, garnished with a sprig of coriander if desired.

Tadka – Scorching Spices (non-obligatory)

  1. Warmth ghee in a small pan over medium warmth till sizzling however not smoking.
  2. Add cumin and mustard seeds, stir till cumin is barely golden.
  3. Then add chillies and prepare dinner for 20 seconds, then add eschallots and prepare dinner till tinged with gold. Don’t let the spices burn!
  4. Instantly pour into Dahl.

1. Ghee is clarified butter and it’s the principle fats utilized in Indian cooking. Offered within the worldwide part of Coles and different main Australian supermarkets. In any other case, use equal elements butter + vegetable oil.

2. The inexperienced chillies bought at supermarkets in Australia are cayenne inexperienced chillies.

three. Curry leaves actually add an additional something-something to curries. Discover them within the recent herb part of Australian supermarkets or discover dried within the dried herbs and spice part.

four. LENTILS: I take advantage of chana dal right here for its form and texture – bought within the worldwide part of some Coles supermarkets. Any yellow dal similar to channa dal, toor dal or moong dal can be utilized on this recipe. 

Should you can not pay money for chana dal, yellow cut up peas are a terrific substitution however solely use three cups of water and prepare dinner for 40 minutes lined and 30 minutes uncovered.

For toor dal, solely use three cups of water and prepare dinner per recipe occasions.

All different lentils – comply with the Yellow Break up Pea instructions above, then on the finish of the prepare dinner time, you may want so as to add extra water and/or prepare dinner for longer.

This recipe is not suited to puye lentils, or different teeny tiny lentils. Something formed like yellow cut up peas must be fantastic.

5. Eschallots are the small onions which are finer than regular onions. The white a part of inexperienced onions/scallions/shallots might be fantastic, and even 1/four of a traditional onion.

* Fats ranges – You’ll miss a number of the luxurious richness in the event you lower down on fats however you possibly can cut back barely if desired.
* Dal will thicken after cooking. Cease the cooking simply earlier than what you suppose is the best consistency, and will probably be good by the point you serve. If reheating the subsequent day, add some water to loosen the dal.
* Dal is FILLING!!! This recipe feeds three very generously, or four regular servings.
* Be actually cautious making the tadka, because it’s simple to burn the spices. It’s higher to have oil that’s not sizzling sufficient after which flip up the warmth, than oil that’s too sizzling to begin with. 



He although all his Christmas’ had come without delay when a field of groceries tipped over within the boot….till he realised it was simply stuffed with greens!!

Dozer the golden retriever - bag of groceries tipped over

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