Spiced Dal with Chilli & Coconut

Chana dal blended with spices and red chilli makes an economical meal fit for a king – perfect for cold winter nights!

Serves 6 – 8

Spice mix

5 ml ground fennel 
2 ml whole cumin seeds 
5 ml whole coriander seeds 
2 – 3 red chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped 
5 ml turmeric
5 ml black pepper 


200 g Chana dal, washed
100 g red lentils, washed
1 large tomato, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small knob ginger, peeled and grated
60 g desiccated coconut or fresh coconut flakes


5 ml mustard seeds
2 – 3 red chillies, finely chopped
50 ml curry leaves or coriander

To serve:

Mint chutney, coconut flakes, chopped spring onion and naan bread or roti.
1. Dry-roast spice mixture in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Allow to cool.
Crush in a pestle and mortar or in an electric spice blender. Grind until smooth.
2. Drain dal and red lentils; place in a large saucepan with sufficient water to cover.
3. Add in tomato, garlic, ginger and coconut.
4. Simmer until dal and lentils are soft; approximately 30 minutes.
5. Stir in roasted spice mixture a little at a time. Taste for flavour.
6. Dry-fry mustard seeds, chillies and curry leaves for garnish. Sprinkle over dal.
7. Serve with mint chutney, coconut, and chopped spring onion on naan bread or roti.


• To peel ginger easily, use the side of a teaspoon to scrape away the skin; it’s effective in getting around all
those little knobs and bumps.
• Keep ginger peeled or unpeeled in the freezer to ensure optimal freshness.
Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want,
but the realization of how much you already have