Make Ahead


January 16, 2023
0 Ratings
Photo by Sara Kiyo Popowa
  • Prep time 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I like to switch between red dals and black dal on a regular basis. This recipes feels slightly more decadent and luxurious than red and takes longer to cook. So just be prepared. You’ll need to soak the lentils for 8 hours or overnight and cook for about 2 hours. I’ve adapted the famous Dishoom black dal recipe. I used Naturli butter here, my preferred vegan butter brand. It’s sold now in larger supermarkets and local health shops. If this is unavailable to you, I have subbed for extra oil in the past and it’s still delicious. I used unrefined rapeseed or coconut oil.

If you can’t find fresh curry leaves, I don’t substitute them with dried, I don’t find them any comparison in terms of flavour, so you can leave them out or add another spice you like, lightly toasted crushed coriander seed or ground cardamom would work very nicely.

I've added a quick onion pickle to this as well, it cuts through the richness nicely.

A note on cooking with pulses, fat and salt really makes them sing, so don’t be afraid to use them! As long as you’re using good quality for me I see no reason not to use what you need to bring the dish to life.

What You'll Need
  • Black Dal
  • 500 grams dry black lentil - soaked for 8 hours or overnight
  • 800 grams coconut milk
  • 400 grams passata
  • 140 grams naturli butter or unrefined rapeseed oil or coconut oil
  • 50 milliliters 50ml rapeseed oil or coconut oil
  • 60 grams garlic, minced
  • 60 grams ginger, minced
  • 1 pinch garam masala
  • pink himalayan salt to taste
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/2 juice lime
  • 50 grams coriander picked
  • Beet raita
  • 400 grams coconut yoghurt - I like Cocos
  • 1 small beetroot
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 20 fresh curry leaf - picked
  1. Black Dal
  2. When ready to cook, drain and rinse your lentils, place in a large saucepan, cover with plenty of water and 1 tbsp salt. Bring to the boil, cook for 30 minutes, or until very tender. Drain and rinse, return to the pan. Add the coconut milk, passata, bring to the boil with the lid on, turn the heat down to a simmer and leave to cook for an hour, checking occasionally to stir. If it becomes too dry add a little water, but just enough to loosen the mix.
  3. Heat a separate frying pan, medium high heat, add the oil when hot, add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, it should be golden, careful not to let the garlic burn. Pour into the dal, keep the pan as you’ll need it again. Stir garlic and ginger into the dal along with the butter and cook for a further 30 minutes until thick and creamy.
  4. Make a quick pickle onion, finely slice the onion, squeeze over 1/2 lime juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside for a few minutes until it changes colour, it should become brighter and soften.
  1. Beet raita
  2. For the raita, peel and grate the beetroot, mix through the yoghurt with the lime. In the same pan you used for the garlic and ginger, heat the oil, add the garlic and curry leaf. Cook for a minute until the garlic becomes golden and the curry leaves crispen. Pour onto the yoghurt mix and stir through, add the salt and taste for seasoning.
  3. Serve the dal with a dollop of raita, mix the coriander with the pickled onion and use as generously as you like on your dal.

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