Red lentil dhal

Red lentil dhal with pomegranate arils. Photograph: Lilly Higgins

Red lentil dhal with pomegranate arils. Photograph: Lilly Higgins

Wed, Jan 25, 2017, 06:00

  • Serves: 6
  • Cooking Time: 30 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Serves six
  • 380g red lentils
  • 1.2 litres water
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • One and a half tbsp garam masala or curry spice mix
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 20g coriander, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • To serve:
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • Seeds from half a pomegranate
  • Nigella seeds


Rinse the lentils well in a sieve. Place them in a pan with the water and cook till done. This will take 15-20 minutes. Set the lentils aside and don’t drain any water out.

Melt the coconut oil in a large, heavy-based pan. Sauté the onion until just soft, add the garlic and the spices and cook for a minute or so. Add the mushy lentils in their cooking water and the tin of tomatoes. Stir well to combine.

I like to add the water from the tin of coconut milk and reserve the solid white cream on top for serving. Alternatively you can just stir it all through at this stage.

Simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes and season to taste with salt. Stir through half the coriander.

Ladle into a wide bowl and scatter with the remaining coriander, pomegranate arils and nigella seeds. Serve with wedges of lime and a dollop of coconut cream.