Bone marrow dhal

Bone marrow dhal

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  • 6
  • Easy
  • Dairy free
  • 15 minutes, plus overnight soaking time
  • 35–40 minutes
  • Woolworths Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir

“When my mom told me the story of this recipe’s origins, I fell for it. She got it from her maternal aunt Marie, who prepared dhal with frikkadels to feed the many hungry mouths in her warm home. This version, with roasted bone marrow, is my tribute to her.”


  • 4 large marrow bones, split lengthways
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1⁄3 cup canola oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T fresh turmeric
  • 2 T medium curry powder
  • 1 t chilli powder
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 300 g red lentils, soaked for a few hours or overnight
  • 1 large sprig curry leaves
  • For serving:
  • naan or rice

Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Season the marrow bones and place on a baking tray. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the marrow is soft and the fat has rendered. Set aside until ready to use.

2. Heat a large saucepan and add the oil. Fry the onion, garlic, turmeric and spices until the onions soften and the spices are fragrant. Stir in the lentils and curry leaves. Season well and add enough water to cover the lentils. Gently simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Scoop out the marrow and stir into the dhal, reserving one roasted marrow bone for serving. Simmer the dhal for a further 10 minutes to infuse the flavour of the marrow. Serve warm with naan or rice and a roasted marrow bone.

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Photographs: Toby Murphy
Production: Khanya Mzongwana
Food Assistant: Kate Ferreira

Khanya Mzongwana Recipe by: Khanya Mzongwana
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If you're anything like our deputy food editor Khanya Mzongwana, you're obsessed with uniqueness and food with feeling. Cook her family-tested favourites, midweek winners and her mouth-wateringly fresh takes on plant-based eating.

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