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The ultimate dhal recipe?

(25 Posts)
Todayisanewday75 Wed 10-May-17 07:51:32

Does anyone have one? Have tried lots of different recipes but it always tastes like there is something missing.

Wolfiefan Wed 10-May-17 07:53:45

Watching with interest. Not vegan or even veggie but this is one of my favourites!

SuburbanRhonda Wed 10-May-17 07:56:22

What sort of dal recipe, OP?

There are literally hundreds, depending on what sort of dal you use.

Todayisanewday75 Wed 10-May-17 09:14:54

I have a load of red lentils and some chana dal but also a bag of yellow mung dal which I haven't opened yet as I have no idea what to do with it.

MamaHanji Wed 10-May-17 09:20:03

I made this the other day. Red lentil Dahl and it was sensational. Even my carnivore partner loved it.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 10-May-17 09:24:18

The something missing is probably salt, tbh. Indian food needs a lot of salt to bring everything together. And a tarka, which is where you fry onions, chilli and spices together and add to the top of the dahl. I swear by Vicky Bhogal for most of my curries but can't find the dahl recipe I use from her online, sorry OP.

MrsPeelyWaly Wed 10-May-17 09:25:54

I think your dhal might be missing a heavy hit of cumin.

Todayisanewday75 Wed 10-May-17 09:26:50

That does look good and I have everything apart from spinach. Might have to up the chilli though, meat loving OH also loves chillies!

MrsPeelyWaly Wed 10-May-17 09:27:27

And a tarka, which is where you fry onions, chilli and spices together and add to the top of the dahl

I do mine with fried onion and mustard seeds.

vanillaessence04 Wed 10-May-17 09:51:44

Ooh a love a good Dahl. My veg Indian cookery teacher said onions are cooked differently in Indian cooking, I then found a demo online of what she meant, I'll try to find. Basically cooked in oil at high temp until golden, none of this soften for five mins business

Wormulonian Wed 10-May-17 11:36:03

I agree - homemade Dahl does have something missing. My friend reckons the restaraunt taste is because they keep a big pot of stock/gravy going which they add to everything. He would never eat in a meat serving restaraunt because he believes they lie about dishes being totally vegetarian. We only go to totally veggie places (where apparently they too have the big stockpot/gravy on the go for extra flavour)

silentpool Wed 10-May-17 11:45:00

Fresh coriander, lemon juice and some smoked paprika make mine amazing.

MrsPeelyWaly Wed 10-May-17 15:50:57

It's the cumin and mustard seeds and perhaps the coconut milk that makes mine delicious.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 10-May-17 15:56:30

The best tarka dal (imo) has plenty of fried garlic as well as onions.

dangermouseisace Wed 10-May-17 17:14:15

if you can get Madhur Jaffery's world vegetarian out of the library it has loads of different dhal recipes, using different sorts of lentil/bean and they are all delicious.

rosiejaune Thu 11-May-17 00:11:05

There's a series of these "perfect x" recipes; here's the dhal:

tendence Thu 11-May-17 08:27:14

Interesting thread, will definitely check out the guardian's tips! My dhals are generally good and tasty, but few of them are "Woooow!" And that's where I want to get :-)

I have found that dhals are generally much better the day after, so that would be my first tip. The flavours really do get richer after a night in the fridge, so a tip would be to make the dhal a day before!

Another tip is to use much more spices than the average recipe suggests. Half a teaspoon of cumin? Ha! I normally use 2-3 times as much as the recipes stipulate.

And if possible, dry roast the spices first, preferably whole, and grind them after roasting. Cumin, coriander and cardemom reallly benefit from being dry roasted first, for example.

LauraMipsum Thu 11-May-17 09:08:53

Apple lentil dal from Dreena Burton's Plant Powered Families. I got the book recently and every recipe I've tried from it has been a winner.

The apple dal recipe is here:

Fridaynightaddict Thu 11-May-17 21:22:18

I made dhal today.
My recipe is:

Red lentils and lots of water onto boil first.
Add 1/3 tsp turmeric
1tsp salt

In another pan:
Add enough olive oil to cover base by 5mm
1tsp cumin
1tsp black mustard seeds
Once spices are popping,
Add 2 diced onion
Once onion is soft
Add diced/minced 3 cloves garlic and 2 inch if peeled ginger & 1 whole chilli
Cool for 5 mins then add 2 diced fresh tomatoes
Cool 5 mins
Add spices:
1tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1tsp salt
1/3 tsp turmeric

Cook 5 mins

Add to the pot of boiling lentils
Stir together
Ad fresh coriander

Serve with rice or chapatis or nan bread

Todayisanewday75 Sun 14-May-17 07:50:07

Lots of ideas to try. Think I'll start with the guardian recipe as I'll finally be able to use the bag of mung dal in my larder! Will report back

DubiousCredentials Sun 14-May-17 08:13:20


Greenifer Sun 14-May-17 17:01:58

I would say that Guardian recipe sounds pretty much perfect (and mung dal is my favourite kind) but you should add some turmeric to the cooking water like Madhur Jaffrey does. It really makes a difference.

originalbiglymavis Sun 14-May-17 17:04:09

I think it was sharwoods who used to do a chickpea dahl in a can. It was bloody lovely but whenever I've tried to make it the chickpeas come out like bullets.

VeganCow Thu 18-May-17 08:37:46

originalbiglymavis you need to either buy a different brand of tinned chickpeas, I find Napolina ones from Tesco are softer, or, cook your own. I like them hard so would probs love your dahl.

Notinyournelly Thu 18-May-17 20:58:27

I've been told that bottled water is the best for cooking Dahl. I'm in a hard water area.
But I haven't tried either. I'm going to try some of these recipes soon. Thanks

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