One-pan lentil dhal with curried fish & crispy skin

One-pan lentil dhal with curried fish & crispy skin

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr plus marinating


Serves 2
For an easy curry night dish, try this one-pot baked dhal - packed with Indian flavours and topped with white fish fillets

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal1013
  • fat51g
  • saturates33g
  • carbs75g
  • sugars19g
  • fibre14g
  • protein57g
  • salt3.1g
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  • 2 onions, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus a splash
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 2 tbsp mild curry powder, plus ½ tsp
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1½ tsp onion or nigella seeds
  • 85g red lentils



    The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…

  • 85g split peas or chana dhal lentils



    The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…

  • 1¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 400g can coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 3 tbsp natural yogurt, plus extra for serving
  • 2 firm white fish fillets with skin - we used sustainably sourced cod
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • juice 1 lime, plus 1 cut into wedges, to serve



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • handful coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp crispy onions from a tub
  • warm naan, to serve
  • mango chutney, to serve


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
 Mix the onions, ginger, oil, 2 tbsp curry powder, the mustard seeds and 1 tsp of the onion or nigella seeds with 5 tbsp water in a baking dish roughly 25 x 18cm. Roast in the oven for 10-15 mins until the onions are softened.

  2. Stir in the lentils, split peas or chana dhal lentils, 1 tsp of the turmeric, the coconut milk and half a can of water,
and return to the oven for 30 mins. Meanwhile, mix together the remaining turmeric, onion seeds and curry powder and the yogurt. Carefully slice the skin off the fish fillets and place on kitchen paper to dry, then rub the yogurt all over the fish fillets and leave to marinate in the fridge while you cook the lentils.

  3. Give the dhal a good stir, mix in the tomatoes and juice from 1 lime, plus
 1 tsp salt. Sit the fish fillets on top with
a sprinkling of extra seasoning. Return to the oven and cook for a further 15 mins until the fish is done. Remove
the dish from the oven and turn
on the grill. Place the fish skin on
a baking tray, sprinkle with some salt
and grill, turning, until crispy. Snap into pieces and scatter over the fish with some coriander and the crispy onions. Serve with more yogurt, lime wedges, naan bread and mango chutney.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th Nov, 2017
Not worth the calories
17th Feb, 2017
Very tasty; froze half the dhal & reheated it with some raw prawns another day as they are large portions. Like others found the split peas still crunchy when cooked so will try stove top next time.
20th Oct, 2016
I loved this very easy tasty dish. Admittedly, I had no dhal lentils so used all red, I had no crispy skin and I forgot the lime juice, but the ease of cooking it all in the oven far outweighed these minor ommissions. I could get on with other stuff while it simmered away. I was relaxed with my lentil measurements but added more water and flavours improved with the leftovers for lunch the following day. Paneer might work well instead of fish.
14th Jan, 2015
I felt this dish was a bit too sloppy and I absolutely stuck to the exact quantities. It was also a bit too sweet between the coconut milk (which I love) and the tomatoes and I have a sweet tooth. In fact I had so much lentil curry left over I made it into a soup. However I wouldn't make this again.
Frantic Flapjack
27th Oct, 2014
This lacked a depth of flavour unfortunately. Was good but not great. I cooked the dhal on the hob as I got a better feel for when it was cooked rather than cooking in the oven. I then baked the fish and then put it all together on the plate. Also I used a tin of chickpeas in place of the split peas.
26th Oct, 2014
Yummy - lovely savoury dish. I thought there was a bit too much liquid, but perhaps I didn't chuck enough lentils in. I put the whole tin of toms in (minus the liquid) as they'd have gone to waste otherwise, and they added a nice acidic counterpoint to the richness of the dish. I used river cobbler. I might add a chilli (or maybe a few cloves of garlic) next time. Dead easy. Will make again.
9th Oct, 2014
This was delicious, the fish was moist and meaty. Next time I will do it on the stove top though as I thought the onions and lentils weren't cooked enough. I didn't have nigella seeds so substituted cumin seeds which worked very well. I also used pathaks hot curry paste instead of curry powder. I added 4 fresh chillies as my husband likes heat in his food. If you've never tried fish in a curry before I'd recommend this as a good choice.
10th Oct, 2014
The calorie count for this is extremely high. Is there a way to reduce it to something more suitable, aside from substituting the coconut milk for a half fat variety? Thanks, bowlof(lowfat)custard
10th Oct, 2014
I was wondering the same, the nutrition data is shocking here. I am keen to make but since I am on special diet (for medical reasons) I have to keep sat fat at minimum. 33 grams is my three day's worth :). I will be substituting yogurt (although i thing the amount used is not high enough to make the fat/calorie so high), not serving chutney - or maybe just a little, omitting coconut milk and trying milk with bit of coconut essence. Not the same I know.. but I am keen to try this. Other than these things there is nothing really to give it such high calorie / fat value, unless the info here is wrong? Is this for the whole batch rather then per serving?
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