Gujarati dhal recipe
- Cuisine: Indian
I do $10 yoga and dhal nights at my yoga school in Leichhardt, Sydney. I take the group through a 70-minute yoga class and then they enjoy a complimentary bowl of my version of my grandmother’s traditional dhal, the Gujarati version from the north-west of India.
Dhal is the perfect meal after yoga; it’s delicious and nutritious, but it doesn’t leave you feeling heavy. I serve it with rice, coriander leaves and Gujarati Methia mango pickle, which is very different from mango chutney. It’s not as sweet, and is the only pickle I use; you can find it at most Indian food shops. I’ve tweaked the recipe by using quick-cook red lentils in place of the traditional tuvar dal (or tooval dal) and, for a healthier option, I add a splash of olive oil at the end, instead of ghee.
The real secret to a great Gujarati dhal, however, is mixing through a little sugar and lemon juice after you take it off the heat – it gives it that wonderful sweet and sour flavour that you don’t get with other dhals. Though, I probably shouldn’t have shared that... Gujarati women will probably want to kill me now.
Like this dish? Why not try a variation – traditional dhal. Or simply browse more Indian recipes.
Ingredients2 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs mustard seeds
½ onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp ground chilli
300g (1½ cups) red lentils
2 carrots, chopped (skin on)
2 potatoes, chopped (skin on)
1 tbs ground turmeric
1½ tsp asafoetida*
1 tbs salt
1 tbs olive oil
Brown sugar to taste
Lemon juice to taste
Rice, to serve
Gujarati Methia mango pickle, to serve
Coriander sprigs, to serve
PreparationHeat sesame oil in a pan over medium heat.
Add mustard seeds and chopped onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until onion is softened.
Stir in chopped tomatoes and ground chilli, then red lentils and 1L water.
Add chopped carrots and chopped potatoes, ground turmeric, asafoetida* and salt, and stir to combine.
Gently simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft; top up with more water if too thick.
Remove from heat, stir in olive oil, then add brown sugar and lemon juice to taste.
Serve with rice, Gujarati Methia mango pickle and coriander sprigs.
*Available from Indian food shops
Interview Isaac Wilson. Photography Christopher Ireland.
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