One or Two Lentil Dhal

This is a simple dhal that can contain a variety of lentils of your own choice but I recommend Chana and/or Moong as being, in my opinion, the most tasty. Lentils are fairly bland by themselves and therefore Indians will spice them up by adding a tarka or baghar of spices and usually also onions, ginger and garlic. I have never found this to be to my taste but this alternative I really like. This recipe simplifies things and just uses a variety of spices in ground and seed form. Although the picture shows fresh onions, ginger and garlic they are not used here.


For 1 - Lentils Continued...
5 tbspn (level) chana dhal (see notes) ¼ tspn chilli powder
250 ml water ¼ tspn turmeric
Spice Addition (Tarka or Baghar) ¼ tspn ground ginger
1 tbspn oil ¼ tspn garlic powder/granules
½ tspn cumin seeds 1/8 tspn asafoetida (optional)
½ tspn fennel seeds salt to taste
½ tspn ground coriander 1 - 2 tbspn chopped coriander (or to taste)
½ tspn ground cumin lemon juice or lemon dressing to taste



  1. Add 250 ml of cold water to a saucepan and add the lentils.
  2. Bring to the boil and skim off any froth that forms and simmer, almost covered, for 20 min (add a little more water if it becomes too dry or remove the lid and adjust the heat if too much liquid).
  3. After about 18 min, whilst the dhal is cooking, using a frying pan over a medium flame, heat the oil and fry the cumin and fennel seeds for 30 seconds - 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the ground coriander, ground cumin, chilli powder, turmeric, asafoetida and ginger and garlic powders and cook, stirring, for about 1 min.
  5. Add salt to the lentils to suit taste.
  6. Add the cooked spices to the lentils and stir well.
  7. Stir in the freshly chopped coriander and lemon juice to taste.


  1. Garnish with a little more freshly chopped coriander and serve with a couple of chapattis.


(1) Any combination of lentils can be used but I recommend Chana or Moong or a combination of both. Dhals (lentils) can be purchased at any Indian outlet and many supermarkets.

I'd like to know if you enjoyed this so please email – also feel free to ask for help.
The Dhals
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The main ingredients
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The finished meal

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