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  • 1 Litre/13/4 pints water
  • 1 Large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2.5cm/1inch Piece root ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly crushed
  • 200g/7oz Canned chopped tomatoes
  • 300g/10oz Red lentils
  • Salt and ground black pepper


  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 White onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Clove garlic, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly crushed
  • 2 Teaspoons black onion seeds
  • One quarter to half teaspoon dried crushed red chilli
  • Pinch turmeric
  • 150g/5oz Natural yogurt
  • Small bunch fresh coriander to garnish

Lentil dahl with spiced onions

Serves 4

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes


  1. Pour the water into a medium saucepan, add the chopped onion, ginger, turmeric and cumin seeds then add the tomatoes and bring to the boil.
  2. Put the lentils into a sieve, rinse with cold water, drain and then add to the saucepan with plenty of salt and pepper. Bring back to the boil then simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring from time to time until the lentils are soft.
  3. About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, make the topping by heating the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, if using, the seeds and spices and fry for 3-4 minutes more, stirring until browned.
  4. Spoon the lentils into bowls, top with spoonfuls of yogurt, the onion mixture and torn coriander leaves to garnish. Serve with warmed na’an bread or chapattis.

If you are on a diet then fry the onions for the topping in a pan with spray oil to reduce the calories even more.

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