- A main dish or a side dish - it's up to you

Quick red lentil Dhal Recipe

I invariably cook this as a side dish but occasionally I throw in some carrots and potatoes and have it as a more substantial supper.

1y ago

I love this little dish and I never measure the amounts I put in so last night I checked the correct ratio of lentils to water so here is the basic recipe.

You can change the ghee to vegetable oil if you prefer or use one of the many different kinds of lentils. However you cook it up it's delicious and filling.

Quick Red Lentil Dhal Recipe

Vegetarian side dish using red lentils


  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 thumb peeled ginger
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 2 chopped tomatoes or 200g tinned
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds


  1. Put the lentils and water in a pan and heat. Add one whole garlic clove, a thumb of ginger and tomatoes.
  2. Bring to the boil then add the ground coriander, cumin, chilli, turmeric and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer until the lentils are cooked. Add more water if you need to. Cook until the lentils are soft then put into a serving bowl.
  4. Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a frying pan and add the mustard seeds and cook them till they start to pop.
  5. Fry the onion and garlic until golden brown and pour the sizzling oil and ingredients over the lentils.

Recipe Notes

I think this is lovely trimmed with coriander leaves but it's optional. To make a more substantial version add chopped carrot or potato in with the lentils.

Recipe by

Carole Mason

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Comments (11)

  • I've tried dhal and while it didn't change my life, it wasn't bad. This sounds like it's a more interesting dhal.

      1 year ago
  • Sounds good! πŸ‘

      1 year ago
  • i would have added some green chillies as well.

      1 year ago
    • Can't disagree but I also made vindaloo with this so I was counterbalancing the heat

        1 year ago
  • Sounds about right! Should have tasted good as well.

      1 year ago
  • Looks great! Chapati-dal is one of the dishes that mum makes if she doesn't know what to makeπŸ˜„

      1 year ago