Hailing from Gujurat, a province in western India known for its vegetarian food, this recipe uses masoor daal (split red lentils), which do not need to be soaked overnight. Adjust the chilli heat to suit your own taste.






Skill level

Average: 2.9 (87 votes)


  • 140 g (¾ cup) split red lentils, washed, drained
  • 2 brown onions, sliced
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) ghee (see Note)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • salt, to taste
  • 1½ tbsp coriander leaves, chopped, to garnish


  • 1½ tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1½ tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted
  • 5 dried long red chillies, chopped
  • 1½ tsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time 15 minutes

The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Soak the lentils for 15 minutes in 500 ml water. Transfer the lentils and soaking water to a large saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat and cook for 8–10 minutes, until the lentils are soft but still retain their shape. Reduce heat to medium low.

Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over high heat, add the ghee, onions and tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 8–10 minutes until golden. Remove from the heat.

To prepare the paste, using a mortar and pestle, pound all the ingredients together until smooth. Add the paste and onion mixture to the lentils and cook for a further 4–5 minutes until soft and thickened. Season to taste.

Serve hot, garnished with coriander leaves.


• Ghee is clarified butter available from Indian grocers and some supermarkets.


Photography by Alan Benson