SW recipe: Red lentil dhal

This traditional Indian recipe is made with red split lentils. It’s Free on Green and Extra Easy and perfect for vegetarians.

• Suitable for vegetarians
• Serves: 4
• Prep. time: 20 minutes
• Cook time: 1 hour 40 minutes
• Total time: Over 60 Minutes
• Syns per serving:
o Green: FREE
o Original: 7½
o Extra Easy: FREE


• 200g dry red split lentils
• 1 onion, finely sliced
• 4 garlic cloves, crushed
• 568ml/1 pint water
• ½ tsp whole cumin seeds
• 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
• 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
• ½ tsp finely grated root ginger
• pinch of salt
• 1 small red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
• 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves


1. Pick over the red lentils to remove any gritty bits, then wash them in cold water and drain well. Set aside.

2. Put the onion, garlic and 275ml of the water in a large heavy saucepan. Cover the pan and bring to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then uncover and cook gently over very low heat for 20 minutes, until the onions are tender, golden and syrupy.

3. Add the cumin, coriander seeds, green chilli and ginger. Stir well and cook gently for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add the lentils, salt and remaining water, and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook for about 1-1¼ hours, until the lentils are cooked and tender. Check the pan occasionally and add more water if the lentils and onions are starting to stick to the base of the pan.

5. Stir well and serve hot, sprinkled with the thinly sliced chilli and chopped coriander leaves.


Tip: Red split lentils (masoor dal), yellow slit peas (chana dal) and moong dal are now all available in most supermarkets as well as specialist Indian food stores.

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