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Member recipe

Indian Malay Dhal

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Serves 4

Delicious, nutritious and able to feed many for a few pennys. Goes great with some roti or chapatti

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  • 200g split yellow lentils
  • 1 large onion (finely sliced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1-2 potatoes (optional)
  • 1 carrot (optional)
  • 100g broccoli (optional)
  • 3 cups hot water


    1. Wash the lentils then leave to soak in a bowl of water for a few minutes. Discard those that float on the surface. Drain well and set aside.
    2. Heat oil in a fry pan or pot then fry onion, garlic and ginger until the onion softens and turns golden brown.
    3. Add turmeric and mix well. Add lentils and fry for a minute or two. Add in carrots, potatoes and broccoli if using.
    4. Add hot water, bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
    5. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are half cooked. Add salt to taste and garam masala.
    6. Continue cooking until lentils are soft, some water is evaporated and the consistency is similar to porridge. If the curry is too watery, continue boiling without the lid.

Comments, questions and tips

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25th Apr, 2015
Broccoli in dhall? :)
11th Oct, 2011
Not sure how authentic it is, but I've read [vast generalisation afoot] that, in India, they have a proverb: "Rice is nice [or 'good'], but lentils are my life." Dhal should be seen as a staple! As the recipe author points out, it's low-fat, high-fibre and high-protein, as well as being very inexpensive. Served either on its own, or with rice or chapatis, with added veggies or grilled, crispy tofu for added goodness, colour and texture, it's highly versatile, too. Sometimes I grate in carrots, and even courgettes, wilt in some baby spinach right at the end, and cook broccoli separately, steamed and then stir-fried in some nut oil, with garlic, turmeric and toasted slivered almonds or cashew nuts. It belongs in that rare category of super-healthy comfort food! Lovely, straightforward and adaptable recipe.
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