Red Lentil Dhal

Before I met my now-husband, which was about 22 years ago, I’d never explored the world of Indian cuisine.  Let’s just say I wasn’t an adventurous eater. If it wasn’t Italian, I just wasn’t that interested.  When I learned that my boyfriend and his family were Indian, and his mum was an incredible cook, I knew my palette was in for a culinary ride, and just between you and me, I was a tad nervous too.

I clearly remember my first meal at their family home.  I had never seen food like it and the smells were so foreign.  It’s here I ventured into the world of Indian food, and to begin with, I did struggle a little. The flavours were so new.  Over time I grew to love the food and now I have a few recipes I love to cook, with dhal being my absolute favourite.  I’m pretty sure this recipe is not exactly as my mother-in-law taught me.  I have a habit of messing with things. After all, I am a recipe creator.  I’ve adapted this dhal it to suit my taste buds and I hope you love it too.  

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Serves: 8


1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 knob ginger - about 3 cm

3 fresh vine-ripened tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder

2 potatoes

1 cup orange lentils

1.2 litres water