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Easy Red Lentil Dhal Recipe

Quick, simple, and loaded with turmeric.

This recipe is a great healthy fast food. It's easy to heat it up and add any ingredients you like. I make a large batch of dhal and split in small containers in the freezer.

Servings: 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


7 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon Nigella seeds
4 green cardamom pods, crushed finely and pod discarded
½ cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 green chili, seeded and finely chopped
14 ounces|397 grams red lentils, rinsed under cold water
3 ½ cups|828 ml vegetable stock
1 lemon, juiced


In a large pot, melt the butter on medium heat, then add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, mustard seeds, Nigella seeds, cardamom, and cinnamon and cook for a couple of minutes until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Stir well, then add the ginger, tomato paste, bay leaves, and chili. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring well. Add in the lentils and the stock, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until soft. You can add more water depending on how runny you like the dish. Add the lemon juice and season with salt before serving.

Suggestions of ingredients that can be added when the dhal is ready and depending on what you have and what you like: raw cucumber, raw spring onions, raw fresh tomatoes, blanched peas, blanched broad beans, blanched courgettes, blanched green beans/runner beans, roasted pumpkins or squash, grilled aubergines, grilled pepper, blanched cabbage, grated carrot, spinach, fresh coriander, parsley basil…

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