oh! dahling #2 – yellow or red? dahl

This is a yummy, healthy, quick and easy dinner to make during the working week. The fact that you make quite a bit means there are guaranteed leftovers for lunch. If you have a larger family, it’s easy to double. It is the recipe for the dahl that I wanted to make last week but we forgot to pick up some lentils. This recipe is closer to the original recipe in Charmaine Solomon and also is very much a dahl. This is due to it’s porridge-like consistency.

makes enough as a side with another curry for 2 and 4 lunches with rice

500g red lentils or yellow split peas (the split peas will take longer) (check packaging if wanting to keep gluten free)

1.5 tbs ghee (how to in method) or rice/veggie oil (the recipe will be vegan if you use oil)

2 med-large brown onions. Finely sliced.

3 garlic cloves. Finely diced or microplaned.

1 tbs ginger. Finely diced or microplaned.

Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tsp turmeric

2 tbs garam masala (make your own – see https://crichtonscoop.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/hakuna-matata-garam-masala/) (use ¾ and reserve ¼ to sprinkle on at the end.

1-1.5 tsp of chilli flakes (depends on how much you like your chilli)

6 cups hot water


organise your lentils:

Measure out, wash and drain and then place in a bowl and fill with water. Remove any that float to the top. Drain.

Boil 6 cups of water in your kettle.

making the ghee:

In a small pot, melt the butter on low. This will create the ghee. When the butter is melted it will split. The ghee is the top layer. As you pour off (next step) only add the top yellow liquid that is clear – the ghee.

Heat the ghee or oil in a medium sauce pan. Slice the onions, dice or microplane the garlic ginger. When ghee/oil is up to temperature add the onions and salt (be reserved with the salt, you can always add more, but adding at this stage helps the onions to break down), followed by the garlic and ginger. Fry over medium heat until onions are golden brown.

putting it all together:

Add the turmeric, chilli flakes, and ¾ of the garam masala. Fry until aromatic. Add the lentils and fry for a few minutes. Add the 6 cups of water. Bring to the boil. Leave for a few minutes but make sure it doesn’t boil over, so turn down slightly. Then reduce to a simmer until the lentils are cooked and are at the desired consistency. For red lentils this will 15-20 minutes, for yellow split peas 30-40 minutes.

Taste for salt and pepper. Add the remainder of the garam masala.


Serve on it’s own or with red pork curry, lamb rogan josh and/or cauliflower curry.


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