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Lemon and lime dal

A simple and healthy dish with a fiery kick of Indian spice.


For the dal

  • 3 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 chillies, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 250g red split lentils
  • 1000ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 2 limes, zest and juice
  • lemon, zest and juice

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander


  1. To make the dal, gently heat the oil in a large deep pan, add the onion and slowly fry for 10 minutes. Cooking the onions on a low heat slowly will intensify the flavour and improve the whole dish.
  2. Add the cumin, salt, turmeric, chillies, garlic cloves and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils, stock and mint. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, add more stock if required. Stir occasionally.
  4. Add the majority of the lime and lemon juice, but reserve some to garnish.
  5. To make the dressing, gently heat the olive oil then add the cumin, the finely sliced garlic and cayenne pepper. Cook for 30 seconds only then remove from the heat.
  6. To serve, place the dal into a serving dish and spoon swirls of the dressing over the top. Add the lemon and lime zest, the reserved chilli slices, a little fresh coriander and the remaining lime and lemon juice (to taste).

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Recipe provided by:

The Vegetarian Society
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