black dal

Dal is just the best thing ever. It's cheap, it's filling, it's nutritious and it's delicious. There's something that feels really comforting and grounding about making (and eating) it and it's perfect for batching up and freezing in portions.

I love having leftovers with kale, broccoli, peas, leeks etc stir fried in the pan with some of the extra spice mix and turmeric and a dollop of hummus or my miso baba ganoush. Or by itself with some fresh coriander and yoghurt / kefir is wonderful too.


Makes 6 portions

Two cups black lentils (it's actually not the easiest to find this in shops - I ordered online)

Soaked over night reduces the cooking time here and also removes a lot of the phytates which are anti-nutrients found in a lot of plant based foods like legumes which can inhibit the absorption of minerals in the gut

2 cans coconut milk

3 shallots 

big thumb of ginger

2 red chillies (deseeded and chopped)

2 tablespoon of spice mix (make a big batch so you have spare for other curries)

Spice mix (batch):

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

2 tablespoons mustard seeds

0.5 tablespoon ground cinamon

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds

stalks of a bunch of coriander (1 tbl spoon worth)

1 pint of veggie stock

2 cans tinned chopped tomato

4 cloves or garlic 

1 tablespoon garam masala

coconut oil for frying

kefir / live yoghurt/ coconut yoghurt (your choice) on top


Fry the shallots, garlic, ginger in the coconut oil until soft and add 2 tablespoons of the spice mix, the sliced chillies coriander stalks and fry for a further 5 mins be careful not to burn and add a little water if it starts to stick.

Once golden add the tomatoes, coconut milk, stock and lentils and simmer with a lid on the pan- make sure you stir regularly as it has a tendency to stick at the bottom and when the lentils are cooked and start to bleed into each other, it's ready. This should take around 60 mins. If you have a slow cooker you can put all the ingredients in it in the morning.


Add kefir/ yoghurt of your choice, coriander leaves and chilli flakes / sliced fresh chilli on top


emily barker