Creamy spiced dhal

Dhal is super-easy and cheap to make – plus lentils are really good for you, so it’s a winner from all sides

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:55 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 478
  • fat 16g
  • saturates 9g
  • carbs 63g
  • sugars 5g
  • fibre 6g
  • protein 26g
  • salt 0.38g


  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2½ cm fresh root ginger, grated
  • 7 cardamom pods
  • 400g red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk


  1. In a large saucepan, on a low heat, toast the mustard and cumin seeds until they give off a nutty aroma; be careful not to burn them. Set aside in a bowl. In the same pan, heat the oil over a low heat and soften the onion, garlic and ginger with the cardamom pods for 10 mins, adding a little water if they look like they might burn.

  2. Tip the lentils and toasted seeds into the pan, then stir for a couple of mins before pouring in the coconut milk and enough water to cover it all well. Bring to the boil, immediately cover the pan, turn it down to a low heat and leave to simmer for about 45 mins, stirring every now and then to make sure the mixture is not sticking. If it starts to become too thick, add a little more water. Serve with warmed pitta bread.

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