Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Black dal

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 2-3
Dietary Vegetarian
From A Taste of My Life
The cinnamon and cloves in this dish lend a sweet, heady aroma to a warming lentil stew.


  1. Place the black and green lentils into a medium saucepan, add the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain, then mash the lentils and set aside.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and fry until it starts to colour. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds.

  3. Stir in the finely chopped chillies, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.

  4. Stir in the chopped tomato, the sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  5. Add the mashed lentils and bring to the boil.

  6. Stir in a large handful of chopped coriander and serve.


  • 150g/5oz black lentils (urad dal)
  • 50g/2oz green lentils (moong dal)
  • 480ml/17fl oz water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 4 cloves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • small handful fresh chopped coriander

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