Lentil Dal

Simple Lentil Dal

Spicy, warming dal is often found as a starter at many of the UK’s Indian restaurants, but given that it’s cheap and easy to make at home why not give it a try?

A big tub will last for days and can be served at lunch, dinner – or even breakfast! Try it with some bread, rice, poppadoms or a fried egg for a tasty treat.


  • 400g yellow lentils
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Salt (optional)


  1. Put the lentils in a sieve and give a quick rinse under the cold tap. Place in a large saucepan and add a litre and half of water and bring to the boil.
  2. Skim off any froth that’s covering the liquid and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the turmeric and leave to gently cook until tender – usually around 30 minutes.
  3. In a frying pan warm the cooking oil over a medium heat, then add your sliced onion and cook until soft.
  4. When your onions are ready add the cumin, garlic and chilli to the pan and gently fry for four-five minutes taking care not to burn the spices or garlic.
  5. When your lentils are ready, stir in the onion and spice mixture and combine so that the flavours fully blend. At this point you can add a teaspoon of salt if you like.
  6. Serve hot in bowls on it’s own or with your favourite accompaniment.

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