exploring indian food: dhal


Lentils and I – that’s a bit tricky. I do not like them much. It began in kindergarten when I was “allowed” to eat lentil soup with blood sausage. Not with bread but with a large piece of greasy blood sausage. Yes, I know that was long ago. And that’s why I thought I should just try it, this Indian lentil soup called Dhal, as I was recently at Fleischerei again, my favorite restaurant around the corner.

And then the following happened. I ordered Dhal with a dip of yogurt and cilantro. My dear man ordered something else that took a bit longer. So I offered him – someone who truly dislikes cilantro – to try my soup, because I found it exceptionally tasty. And then he ate around the cilantro yoghurt dip until barely soup was left for me – so delicious he also found this dish.

Okay, I was thinking, I try it myself at home. Cannot be that hard to prepare. And it wasn’t (besides the fact that I needed to get herbs I never used before but looove now). Well, it was not quite the same as the Dhal at Fleischerei, but yet very, very delicious using this recipe (German version) with the addition of potatoes:

You will need (serves 4):

2 big potatoes

25 g butter (vegan, if you prefer)

2 pieces of garlic

1 piece of onion, diced

0.5 tsp turmeric spice

1 tsp garam masala

0.25 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

2 kg drained canned tomatoes, chopped

175 g red lentils

2 tsp lemon juice

600 ml vegetable stock

300 ml coconut milk



fresh cilantro

And here is how to make this Dhal:

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the potatoes, garlic and onions and cook it while stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add turmeric, garam masala, chili powder and cumin and cook it for another 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, red lentils, lemon juice, vegetable broth and coconut milk and bring everything to boil. Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer uncovered for approximately 25-30 minutes until the lentils are soft and cooked. Season with salt and pepper and add chopped cilantro.

Really easy to make and from now on a weekly dish over here. ;-)

PS: I also made the dip using (vegan) yogurt and cilantro.


5 thoughts on “exploring indian food: dhal

    1. Coming from you, I take it as a huge compliment! :-) Now we finally have November temperatures here (8°C), so yes, all these ingredients and herbs are perfect for these days.

  1. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Made it last night – very delicious! It’s perfect for the cold and rainy weather :)! I didn’t make it with coconut milk before.

  2. I LOVE dahl, it is a vegetarian student’s dream. I make mine super spicy too, so I sweat it all out. But it’s funny what you said about your relationship with lentils. In Canada now they have ads for lentils, and theres a huge push (like they did with kale) to bring it back. I wonder if it will work….

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