Monday, 23 November 2015

30-Minute Vegan Dahl (Dhal/Dal/Daal)

    There comes a time when you realize that you've been using a recipe religiously for years.....but have yet to share it with all your friends. So greedy, right? Well, thanks to my friend Nicole who asked for my Dahl recipe the other night, I've taken the recipe off my fridge to share it with all of you wonderful people!

     I guess part of the reason it has taken me so long to publish this recipe, is that Dahl really isn't the prettiest of dishes. A delicious ladle-full of yellow slop anyone? But served with rice, chapati or naan and perhaps some other dishes like aloo gobi or a vegetable curry and you can have a pretty darn tasty meal.

     Dahl is a thick stew made of split pulses, typically split red lentils, that originates from South Asia. Variations of this dish can be found throughout India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. This version, being vegan, omits some traditional aspects, like Ghee, a type of clarified butter commonly used in India. But rest assured, this recipe is still just as delicious!

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 x 1 cup portions (as a main) or 8 x 1/2 cup servings (as a side)


  • 2 Tbsp olive or canola oil
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (can put through the food processor)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger (about a 1/2" knob)
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt (reduce if using tomato juice, as appropriate)
  • 2 cups dried red lentils 
  • 4 cups water (or part tomato juice)
  • Juice of half of a lemon, to finish (optional)


  1. In a medium pot, heat oil with chili flakes and cumin seeds over medium heat. When warm and fragrant, add onion. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger.
  2. Sauté for 3 additional minutes, meanwhile, rinse red lentils under cold water. Add spices and salt to the pot. Then stir in the lentils. One the lentils are coated with oil and spices, add water (or tomato juice) and stir. 
  3. Cover and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, uncover and reduce heat, and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until lentils are cooked and the majority of the water is absorbed (will continue to thicken as the dahl cools).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in lemon.
  5. Serve with rice or naan