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Red lentil dal

Warming spiced lentil dal topped with fresh coriander.


  • 400g red lentils, washed and drained
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 fresh green chillies, finely sliced and seeds removed
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 can of coconut milk (optional)
  • 1 can of tomatoes/chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander, leaves removed from stalks and both chopped separately
  • Salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste


  1. Put the lentils into a pan, cover with water by at least 5cm and bring it to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir in the turmeric. Leave the lentils to simmer gently for around 10 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked and have absorbed the water. The texture will look a bit like porridge when they are ready.
  2. In a frying pan, add a little oil and fry your onion on a medium heat until it starts to brown – around 5 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander stalks, chillies, onion, tomato, ginger and garlic. Stir well and leave to cook for 1-2 minutes until the garlic is golden and everything starts to smell amazing!
  3. Add the spices, stir well and cook for 1 more minute before removing the mixture from the heat and stirring it into the cooked lentils.
  4. Add the coconut milk to and stir in if you want a creamier, slightly sweeter Dal.
  5. Stir through some of the coriander leaves and use the rest to use as a garnish – just scatter them on top of each serving.
  6. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice until it tastes just how you like it!
  7. Serve on its own or with rice, naan or jacket potato for a fragrant, nutritious and incredibly tasty meal.

Recipe provided by

Cracking Good Food
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Cracking Good Food launched in 2010, with the aim of encouraging and supporting more people to cook affordable, seasonal and nutritious homemade food from scratch.

Driven by their belief that EVERYONE deserves good food, their mission is simple: to work collaboratively with others to eradicate food poverty and increase food sustainability in Greater Manchester.

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