Righto – here’s my recipie for dhal, I use whole Masoor Dhal (puy lentils) with skin but this will work with Mung just as well!  I couldn’t find good chilli powder or curry leaves here in Cozumel, Mexico so I just left them out.


  • One cup dry dhal
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil (peanut oil is best!)
  • Pinch fenugreek seeds
  • 3-4 whole dried chillies
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 onion chopped into little squares
  • 1 clove garlic sliced thinly
  • 2 fresh chillies sliced (thai bullet is best or you can use cayenne or serrano, if you must use habanero – just one will do unless you like it super hot!)
  • 1/2 a stem of curry leaves
  • 3 tomatoes chopped
  • 2tbs sliced coriander stems


  1. Sort through your dry dhal and get rid of any stones masquerading as dhal – they WILL be there.
  2. Wash the dhal until your water runs clear then boil to a consistency you’re happy with (usually 30 mins for Masoor and 45-60 mins for mung)
  3. Heat up the oil to medium and add the dry chillies and fenugreek seeds. Cook till they go a bit browner than they were when you put them in!
  4. Add the cumin, mustard and coriander seeds and cook until the popping slows down (oh yeah – you might wanna use a lid as a shield against the exploding mustard)
  5. Add the onion, garlic, curry leaves & fresh chillies and cook, stirring frequently until golden brown.
  6. Add tomates & coriander stems and cook, stirring occasionaly until the oil starts to seperate from the sides of the mush.
  7. Pour boiled dhal and water into the tomato masala (or vice versa) and let simmer for five minutes or so to blend well.
  8. Taste and if its too strong – add plain yoghurt or a pinch of sugar to mellow out.


Serve with white rice or rotis (tortillas heated up will also do nicely) & garnish with fresh coriander for bonus points 😊


Cumin, mustard & coriander seeds:

Fenugreek seeds and dried chillies:



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