Dahl with mellowed spices

This vegetarian dish provides for an extensive taste pallet, especially the next day after making. The main ingredients are protein and fibre rich lentils. But the rich taste comes from freshly ground spices and fresh vegetables.   


This dish is common in India, which is largely observing a vegetarian diet. It is eaten with cooked rice or with flat breads such as naan. Obtaining the spices and freshly grinding these are key to this lovely tasting dish. When following the right sequence of addition, this  vegetarian dish will display all its splendour.

Special equipment

  • spice grinder

Dahl with mellowed spices

Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: fragrant, Lentils, vegetarian



  • 1 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 1 diced middle sized brown onion
  • 3 peeled middle sized ripe tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grated or finely sliced fresh ginger
  • 2 small red Asian chilli peppers
  • 1 (2 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche or cooking cream



  • Soak the lentils in water for at the least 5 h. Shorter soaking time causes cooking time to go up. Overnight soaking is also fine
  • Weigh all the spices and grind the cardomom seeds (after peeling them first). Place the mustard seeds, the cumin seeds and the cinnamon stick together
  • Place the ground cardomom and turmeric together
  • Grate the ginger, and mince the garlic and keep them together
  • Take the seeds out from the red peppers and finely slice the peppers
  • Boil hot water, place the tomatoes in a bowl and pour the hot water over them. After 2 minutes replace by cold water. After a while peel and then cut the tomatoes
  • Dice the onion
  • Place the soaked lentils in a pan with some water. Add the salt. Bring them to a boil and cook them for 20-30 min
  • Place the oil in another pan and heat up with medium fire
  • Add the mustard and cumin seeds and cinnamon stick and wait until the musterd seeds start to pop (1-2 minutes)
  • Then add the chilli peppers, the onion, the ginger and the garlic and cook for about 10 min, until the onions are tender. First high fire, later at low fire
  • Add the ground turmeric and cardomom seeds and the diced tomato. Wait until the tomato falls apart (5 min). Take the cinnamon stick out and discard
  • Check the lentils for done-ness. if there is surplus water, remove this with a siff. Add the lentils to the pan with the spices and cooked vegetables and stir. A thick slightly fluid appearance is what you should aim for 
  • Just before serving,  add the cream or crème fraiche to the dish and garnish with coriander leaves or offer the latter separately.


Method: boiling, pan frying
Food allergy & intolerance information: none


  1. The taste will markedly improve and mellow when storing the food overnight, see Knowledge, food storage and taste.

No Replies to "Dahl with mellowed spices"

    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published.