Lentil dhal


  • 1 1/4 cups (250g) yellow split peas
  • 50g ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (100g) red lentils
  • 1/4 cup (50g) green lentils
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 2 stems curry leaves
  • Curry leaves, extra, to serve
  • Greek-style yoghurt, to serve
  • Roti or naan, to serve


  • 1/2 cup (125ml) apple cider vinegar or malt vinegar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 brown onion, coarsely chopped 
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbs finely grated ginger
  • 2 long green chillies, seeded, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup ground coriander
  • 1 tbs ground turmeric
  • 1 tbs ground paprika
  • 1 tbs garam masala
  • 1 tbs black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom


Step 1

To make the curry paste, place the vinegar, oil, onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, if using, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, garam masala, mustard seeds, cinnamon and cardamom in a food processor and process until smooth.

Step 2

Cook peas in a saucepan of boiling water for 30 mins or until tender. Drain.

Step 3

Meanwhile, heat the ghee or coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins or until the onion is light golden. Add ½ cup of the curry paste and cook for 1 min or until aromatic. (Reserve remaining curry paste for another dish – see tip, p135.)

step 4

Add the combined lentils, tomato, coconut milk, peas and curry leaves to onion mixture in the pan. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 mins or until lentils are tender and mixture thickens.

Step 5Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Spray with olive oil spray. Add the extra curry leaves and cook, turning, for 1-2 mins or until the curry leaves are crisp.

Step 6

Divide the dhal evenly among serving bowls. Top with the yoghurt and fried curry leaves. Season. Serve with the roti or naan.

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