My Favourite Dal

My wife and I are huge Indian-food fans. Hence this perfect comfort food was created by timeless practice and patience on the countertop of our small but functional kitchen. Enjoy!
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 0.25 tsp asafoetida (hing) powder
  • 0.5 tsp fennel seeds
  • 0.5 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • 0.5 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 5 cardamom pods, split
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes
  • 2 cups dried brown or whole red lentils
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 14 oz can of coconut milk
All the spices you’ll ever need


  1. Finely chop the onions and add to a large stockpot turned on medium-high heat with the oil. As soon as the onions start to sizzle, turn the heat to low and give it a good stir. Pop the lid on the pot, and let the onions slowly cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Add the spices, and continue to cook and stir for another half hour, or until the onions become brown and sticky, whichever happens first.
  2. In the meantime, place the lentils in a large bowl and cover with boiling water, so that the lentils are at least 2 inches from the surface of the water. Let it rest on the counter for 2 hours or more.

    Soaking the lentils
    Soaking the lentils
  3. At this point the onions should be slightly carmelized and well blended with the spices. Add the tomatoes with the juices, and turn up the heat. As soon as the mixture starts to simmer nicely, turn the heat off and remove the cardamom pods before adding the mixture to a blender. Let it cool slightly, and then whizz it up until ground up to a sauce. This is your curry sauce, the secret ingredient!
  4. Drain the lentils and place in the same stock pot. Add the stock and enough water to just cover the lentils in the pot, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, and then add the curry sauce. Stir the sauce and turn the heat down to medium-low, allowing everything to gently simmer.
  5. Add the coconut milk and continue to cook until desired consistency is reached, about 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with garlic naan and enjoy with family and friends!


Add yours →

  1. Dal is absolutely delicious! We’ve never made it with coconut milk though- we will have to give it a try! 🙂


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