1 hour

    I actually learned this in the kitchen of a seasoned Indian homecook! Traditional fragrant dish with toor dhal, ginger, chilli, tomatoes, cumin and garlic.

    116 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 625g toor dhal
    • 2 1/2 cups water
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    • 1/4 green chilli, diced
    • 1 tomato, diced
    • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1 pinch chilli powder
    • 1 pinch asafoetida
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • handful chopped fresh coriander

    Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:1hour 

    1. Rinse toor dhal and then soak in water for 30 minutes.
    2. Heat dhal and water with salt until boiling. Reduce heat to medium and cook 15 to 20 minutes, until tender and thickened. Add more water, if necessary, to prevent drying out.
    3. To the cooked dhal, add ginger, chilli, tomato, lemon juice and turmeric. Continue simmering.
    4. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and add cumin seeds, chilli powder, asafoetida and garlic; stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir mixture into dhal and add coriander, mixing well.


    Toor dhal, or yellow pigeon peas, will be available at any Asian shop. You can also use yellow split peas in a pinch.

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    Reviews in English (82)


    Used different ingredients. I concur -- this is "Yummy". It helps that I already love Indian food. What I learned from this recipe: - substitutions work well: I used the limes of 4 whole limes (3 TB) not lemon - I did not use asafoejida or anything to substitute for it - I used coconut oil to make this makers-diet-friendly, but it probably added to the flavour, and finally - the one part of this recipe that made this dish more "Indian" in the sense of "like the Indian restaurants I frequent" was adding cumin to the oil. When I did that, it was instantly flavoured and scented like I imagines it should be. Bon Appetit!  -  29 Sep 2008


    A great basic dahl recipe. It can also be enhanced with all manner of vegetable matter to round out your diet: diced broccoli, sweetcorn kernels, red/green/yellow capsicum, chopped fennel, plus more. We call it the enthusiastic dahl--because we can put everything we've got into it. Adding garam masala towards the end of cooking increases flavour without heat. Lightly toasting dry chilli powder at the start in oil likewise increases flavour without increasing the heat factor as much as adding it later would. Adding a small tin of coconut milk during cooking will enrich the flavour for festive occasions and/or provide much-needed fats for (thinner) vegetarians. The dahl can also be garnished with lime juice and tabasco sauce as well as some chopped coriander. Chapatti fried in butter makes a nice accompaniment and alternative to the basmati rice or brown rice standard.  -  29 Sep 2008


    The only reason I haven't given this recipe 5 stars is because I modified it slightly-I used 500g of yellow split peas (not soaked but cooked for 45 mins), I also added some curry leaves to the sautee and used chilli flakes instead of fresh green chili. This is the first time I have managed to replicate authentic Indian food in terms of taste and texture! I will be filing this one away, thanks!  -  29 Aug 2011