Lentil Dal

Dal is usually served as an accompaniment to curries or rice dishes. Spooned over rice to add extra flavor or serve it by itself. 

  • 1 cup dried split red lentils
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 whole fresh chili
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander
  • 1/4 light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • fresh leaves to garnish

Put the lentils into a saucepan with enough cold water to come 1/2 inch above them, and add the chopped onion, garlic, bay leaf, whole chili, ginger and turmeric.

Cook gently, half-covered, for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are soft, stirring occasionally and adding a little more water if necessary to prevent the lentils from sticking. The final mixture should be quite runny, like a puree, but not watery.

Stir in cumin and coriander. If possible, leave to stand, covered for 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Discard the bay leaf and chili and stir the coconut milk. Reheat gently, stirring until the coconut has melted. Add the lemon juice, check the seasoning and serve the lentil dal garnished with a few fresh leaves.

Serves 2 as a main dish and 3 on top of rice.

Lentil Dal