Before moving up to North Yorkshire we lived in North Leeds for a couple of years. It’s a fabulous ethnically diverse city and our neighbours were the kindest, gentlest Pakistani family you could imagine. We became friends in October 2016 when Diwali coincided with Halloween. My son took them a carved pumpkin as a little gift and their little daughters brought us wonderful handmade Indian sweet treats. We’ve often eaten together since and this red lentil curry dhal recipe is one that I’ve learned to cook from them (we ate a lot of it!)
Many Indians eat a lot of dhal, because it’s a cheap and a tasty source of protein. There are lots of different varieties of dhal (or dal) but our favourite is this red lentil dhal. The delicious spices make the kitchen smell amazing – I bet you can’t resist a sneaky taste test before it’s cooked!
There are so many ways to enjoy this red lentil dhal. I like to top it with crispy fried onions or chopped coriander and serve it as a side dish with a yummy veggie curry, like my cauliflower and chickpea curry.
Flavour packed red lentils in a rich tomato based, well-spiced sauce that's a perfect side dish or dip with naan bread
- 8 oz lentils
- 3 Italian Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 brown skinned onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 curry leaves
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
Add 2 pints of water to a large pan, add the lentils and a good pinch of salt, then cover and bring to the boil
Using a large spoon, remove and discard the froth that rises up to the top of the pan, then turn down the heat
Turn down the heat and leave the pan to simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. The lentils will be cooked once they are soft enough to squish between your fingers. Take the pan off the heat and set aside (don't even think about draining any liquid from the lentils!)
While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan then add the onion and garlic and fry until soft, sweet and golden
Turn the heat down and add the tomatoes, ginger, dried cumin, curry leaves and chilli powder, letting the mixture reduce for about 10 minutes
Add the spicy tomato sauce into the pan with the lentils and stir in the garam masala
Season to taste and serve topped with crispy fried onions and chopped coriander
Are you making this recipe? Please leave a comment to let me know and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #coraliecooks on Instagram so I can see. I LOVE seeing what you come up with.