Photographer: Emma
Serves 4

Dhal is one of those magical dishes.  The simple coming together of the humble lentil paired with a perfectly balanced combination of spices (best toasted and freshly ground), cooked long and slow and served steaming hot.  What I love about dhal is that it holds its own when served simply with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of coriander in a generously sized bowl for one.  It is also however, equally as good when served alongside a whole raft of dishes so make sure the next time you feel compelled to cook Indian that this dish features in your line-up.


2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
½ tsp tumeric
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and freshly ground
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and freshly ground
250g red lentils, washed and drained
1 400g tin tomatoes
2 ½ cups hot water
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt

Yoghurt to serve
Coriander to garnish


1. In a large frying pan fry the onions, garlic and ginger over a low heat for approximately 20 minutes. Long slow cooking at this point forms the basis of a good curry.
2. Add the tumeric, coriander and cumin and cook for a further minute or two. Add the lentils and tomatoes and stir to combine. Then add the hot water, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook with the lid on for 20 minutes.
3. Lastly stir through the garam masala and the salt and serve hot with a big dollop of natural yoghurt and a few coriander leaves.