Dhal curry

Dhal curry

You must be logged in to favorite a recipe.Login

Thanks for your rating!

You must be logged in to rate a recipe. Login

  • 8-10
  • Easy
  • wheat and gluten free
  • 70 minutes
  • 1 1⁄2 hours

“This is a comforting winner that bursts with flavour. It can be enjoyed on its own or you can top it up with a protein. It’s best served with rice or roti.”


  • 300 g dried chana dhal(yellow split peas or other yellow/red lentils)
  • 1 T ghee or oil
  • 2 green cayenne chillies (or 1 bird’s-eye chilli), seeded and cut into chunks (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 pods cardamom
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 T ginger, finely chopped
  • 8 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 t ground turmeric
  • 3⁄4 t salt
  • 1 t garam marsala
  • a handful fresh coriander, to garnish
  • rice or rotis, for serving

Cooking Instructions

1. Rinse the dhal and soak in plenty of water for 1 hour, then drain.

2. Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a high heat. Add the chillies and fry for 1 minute, or until starting to blister. Add the onion and fry until softened.

3. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the cardamom, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and curry leaves. Cook for 1 minute, or until the garlic starts to turn golden and becomes fragrant.

4. Add the tomatoes and cumin and cook until the tomatoes start to break down and thicken to a paste – about 2 minutes.

5. Add the dhal, water, turmeric and salt. Stir, bring to simmer, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour. Stir 2–3 times.

6. Remove the lid and simmer gently for 30 minutes to thicken, stirring occasionally. The dhal is ready when it has the consistency of porridge – some lentils should be intact but some will break down.

7. Stir through the garam masala at the end and adjust the seasoning with salt if necessary. Serve the dhal with rice or roti, garnished with coriander.

Photograph: Jan Ras
Production: Abigail Donnelly
Recipes: Sadiqah Assur-Ismail
Food assistant: Emma Nkunzana

Find more Ramadan and Eid recipes here.

Sadiqah Assur-Ismail Recipe by: Sadiqah Assur-Ismail
View all recipes

Sadiqah Assur-Ismail is a freelance photographer who has photographed many TASTE editorial features and digital campaigns. Follow her on Instagram @sadiqah_photography for more food photography.

Social Media

Related Recipes