Vegan Animal

Split Red Lentil Dhal


Vegan Mofo 2010 – Day 27

I haven’t eaten well in the last couple of days and I felt like some really spicy and healthy that would make me feel a lot better. Dhal is a spicy Indian soup made with any kind of lentils and vegetables and normally served with either rice and/or roti.

I have used many kinds of lentils over the years but I only discovered slit red lentils in the last year and like them so much because they take less time to cook are very tasty, are easier on your digestion and can be added to any kind of soup or stew.

Ingredients :
– 6 cups of boiling water (1.5 litres)
– 1 cup split red lentils
– 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger crushed
– A pinch of ground sea salt
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 teaspoon of curry powder
– 2 or 3 fresh red or green chillies (or dried red chillies will do if you don’t have any fresh chillies. 1 tablespoon of crushed chillies or chilli powder)
– 200g of green beans (add any veggies that you like)
– 2 tablespoons of cooking oil of our choice (sunflower, canola or peanut work nicely)
– 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
– 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
– 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
– 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
– Pinch of hing
– ½ spoon turmeric
– Fresh coriander for garnish
– Freshly squeezed lemon juice
– Ground black pepper

Adding the boiling water to a large pot (that has a lid) on a high heat and add in the split red lentils. As it starts boiling rapidly add the ginger, bay leaves, curry powder and chillies. Drop the heat to medium high and allow to boil for 4 or 5 minutes. Add your veggies and as the water starts to boil again cover the pot and reduce heat to medium heat. Allow to simmer until the lentils have started dissolving and the veggies are soft.

Then heat up the two tablespoons of cooking oil on a medium high heat and add the mustard seeds. As the mustard seeds start popping add in the cumin seeds and leave for another 30 seconds or so or until the cumin seeds start popping. Add the remaining spices: cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric and hing. Stir constantly and allow to fry for another 30 seconds ensuring the spices don’t burn or stick.
Add the fried spices to dhal and mix well. Allow to simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes on a medium heat.

Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves, add salt and black pepper to taste and sprinkle with some fresh lemon juice. The dhal should by quite thick and not too runny and you should serve ladled over basmati rice.


6 thoughts on “Split Red Lentil Dhal

  1. Funny, i just came across this fellow MoFo’ers recipe for Dhal ( and I was cleaning-out my pantry yesterday and after finding a big bag of lentils, decided that I needed to make dhal this week. It’s all rainy here right now, so I think today is the day!!

  2. PS. What’s “hing”?

  3. Hing is also know as Asafoetida – this is a replacement for onions and garlic in ayurvedic cooking

  4. Hing / Asafoetida is also excellent to prevent “gas” from beans and lentils because it aids digestion. – and on a completely seperate note, if you mix it with a bit of lemon juice and soak a cotton ball in this you can put this on an aching tooth.

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