Thai cuisine Queen Palisa Anderson shows us how to make a simple sprouted lentil dhal for her Cheap and Cheerful contribution.






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  • 200 g (1 cup) red lentils, soaked overnight
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 -2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 long dried red chilli, toasted
  • Handful fresh curry leaves, fried until crisp
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Small handful coriander leaves
  • 20 g ginger, peeled and cut into a very fine julienne
  • 2 red Asian shallots, thinly sliced and fried until crisp


  • 30 g piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 large coriander roots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 red Asian shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head garlic, peeled

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.


You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead to soak ingredients overnight.

  1. Drain the soaked lentils and set aside. 
  2. For the paste, place all the ingredients in a mortar and use a pestle to pound into a paste.
  3. Toast the cumin, mustard seeds and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat until fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Heat the ghee in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the paste, toasted spices and curry powder until fragrant. Add the drained lentils and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly and simmer until tender, stirring regularly. Stir in the dried chilli, fried curry leaves and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. To serve, ladle the dhal into bowls, then scatter with coriander leaves, finely julienned ginger and  fried shallots.

Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.


Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.