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Experience Asian cuisine with this delicious dhal, a tantalizing red split lentil curry your taste buds will remember for sure.

Red split lentil curry (dhal)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


  • 300 g red lentil (split) (organic) masoor dal
  • 300-400 ml water
  • 3-4 shallots (organic) chopped
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 6-7 black peppercorns (organic) whole
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 red chili dried
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (organic)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (organic)
  • 10 leaves curry (fresh, dried or frozen)
  • 1 stick cinnamon whole (2 cm / 1 inch long)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tsp ginger (organic) freshly grated
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (added right at the end)


  • Begin with thoroughly rinsing the red lentils until the water runs clear.
  • Place the roughly chopped shallots/red onion, 3 garlic cloves, peppercorns and 5 curry leaves in a mortar. Crush slightly with the pestle, enough to just roughly crush them rather than making them a paste.
  • Place a pot on medium fire, add the lentils with about 200 ml water,1 clove of garlic crushed and finely chopped, 1/2 amount of curry leaves and all the seeds. Reduce the heat as soon as the lentils start boiling.
  • Cook the lentils (partially covered) for about 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, add the crushed ingredients from the mortar mix, add more water and the coconut milk and salt. Cook for a further 10-12 minutes stirring occasionally and add more water if needed. It can stick very quickly so keep an eye and a hand on it.
  • When almost finished cooking, add the ginger and stir again. Cook for 3 minutes and remove from the heat.
  • Drizzle the lemon juice, mix for the last time.
  • Garnish with some more red chili flakes if you want some extra heat, or some coriander leaves if you prefer.
  • Serve on rice, with crackers or with a nice homemade flatbread. A true treat!


Shallots can be replaced by 2 small or 1 medium/large red onion.
Tomatoes (about 2 medium ones) chopped roughly could be added, I sometimes (for variation) add one handful of butternut squashed- chopped or 1 carrot also chopped into chunkier chunks.
Instead of coconut milk, you can add dairy milk (full fat) and a bit of double cream at the end. Superb!!
A plate with dhal red lentil curry
As I said, you can fry the onions/shallots (if you wish) with the chili and the seeds and add at the end. It is very tasty indeed.
The secret to a good dhal is the low heat that should be cooked on and if you happen to have a mud pot to cook it in, it would be even better. ? ??