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Yellow Dhal

Yellow Dhal


A Dhal is any curry or stew made with pulses (dried lentils, peas or beans) which have been stripped of their outer hulls and split. It also refers to the thick stew prepared from these pulses which is commonly eaten in Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, West Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine.

Common types of dhal:
Toor Dal – Yellow pigeon peas
Chana Dal – Black Chickpeas
Mung Dal – Mung bean
Lobiya Dal – Black eyed bean
Urad Dal – Black lentil
Masoor dal – Red lentils

Common Dishes:
Idli, Dosa, Vada, Dal Makhani, Moong Dal Vada, Pesarattu, Channa dal recipe, Arhar dal recipe, Tadka or Tarka dal recipe, Masoor dal recipe, Yellow dal recipe, Dal curry recipe, Daal Bhaati, Patholi and populary known Palak Dal.

The variations are endless and this is my version of a yellow Dal using spices and ingredients I like so I hope you enjoy.


For the stock:
2 small chicken wings
6 bay leaves
2 cardamom pods
2 cloves
Pinch of salt

For the Dhal:
300g dried yellow lentils
3 tomatoes
1 inch piece of ginger
6 garlic cloves
1/2 red chilli
1 medium onion
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp butter for frying
Single cream


Peel and chop the tomatoes
Peel and grate the ginger
Peel and crush the garlic
Slice the chilli into rings
Finely chop the onion


In a deep pan heat some oil and fry the chicken wings until the skin starts to golden and then throw in the bay leaves, cloves and cardamoms, ensure you give a good stir and don’t worry about anything sticking because any deposits on the bottom of the pan will increase the flavour and come away once you add the water.

Once your chicken has a nice golden colour carefully add the water just enough to cover everything by an inch or so and bring to a medium boil for 20 minutes.

Now remove the chicken and whole spices so your left with a quick and simple stock that will just enhance the depth of flavour in your lentils. Put the dried lentils in a clean deep pan and pour the stock over the lentils just enough to cover them and bring to a rapid boil and then leave to simmer adding more stock when needed. The aim is to get a thick soup consistency and the lentils need to become mushy so don’t worry about overlooking. Once the lentils start to soften you can add the salt to taste. Leave simmering till cooked around 20-30 minutes.

In a frying pan heat the butter and add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for about 3-4 minutes until the onions soften and then add the chopped tomatoes and spices. Fry this for about 5 minutes and then add this mixture to the pan of cooked lentils and simmer on a low heat for at least 30 minutes but the longer and slower the better to get the best flavour. Within the last 5 minutes of cooking stir in some single cream and add a little salt if needed to taste.

Serve in a bowl garnished with a little finely chopped coriander and rings of red chilli. This dish can be served on its own as a vegetarian main and eaten with any Indian bread or it can accompany a meat and/or rice dish. Enjoy!


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