Meatless Monday – Dharish’s Brown Lentil Dhal


This delicious brown lentil curry is quick, easy and economical. Eating it is like giving your belly a hug!

This month’s reader recipe comes from Dharish’s kitchen, you might know her from her famous Chicken Curry and Minced Lamb Curry but this one is from her extensive repetoire of vegetarian recipes. Her recipes are some of the most popular on the blog and readers often write to me request more recipes from my nominated Queen of Curries.

When I lived in London I used to love going to Dharish’s house for a curry and happily this happened often because we lived around the corner from each other. No matter how tired or busy she was, Dharish always whipped up something home cooked and hearty.

Things are different now, I live in Sydney and Dharish lives in a big renovated barn in a teeny tiny English village. Every time I go back to the motherland, Dharish and I promise to have a curry cook off in her amazing farmhouse kitchen. But every time we get sidetracked strolling though the village, patting the neighbour’s pet goat and checking out the books in the village library which is actually an old red phone box!

As it happens, Dharish doesn’t live that far from Heathrow airport and on recent visits, she’s been kind enough to drop me off at the airport and car time has become curry time. Dharish dictates recipes and I diligently put them in my phone ready to recreate at home. I know these recipes are tried and tested, quick and easy and delicious and comforting because Dharish has been making them for years and now (you and) I can make them for years too!


This dhal is especially easy and is perfect for Meatless Monday or any midweek or meatless meal come to that! It’s such a one pan wonder that I didn’t even try to convert it to the Thermomix but if you do, please let me know how you go! The good thing about this dish is that it really is not so much spicy as it is flavoursome, although if you really are not a fan of heat,  skip the chilli powder altogether and be sure to deseed the fresh chilli.

This is delicious served with plain rice or a homemade roti – nom nom!

Have you got a friend who’s an amazing cook? What’s your favourite curry?



1 cup (180g) brown lentils (soaked overnight)

1 onion, chopped finely

1 tablespoon oil

1 1/2  tablespoons ghee

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala

1 green chilli, halved longways and sliced thinly

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

chopped corinader leaves, to serve


How to

  1. Soak lentils overnight.
  2. Rinse and drain lentils and place in a medium pan with a couple of inches of water.  Bring the water to the boil, skim off any scummy stuff and cook the lentils until softened and cooked through and then set aside. (If the lentils are cooked but there a lot of water remains, simply drain some of the water off, you want the lentils to be thick and soupy.)
  3. Heat the ghee and oil and fry the onion until golden.
  4. Add the dry spices and stir until fragrant.
  5. Add chill and tinned tomatoes and simmer until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of chutney.
  6. Return the cooked lentils to the pan, heat through until the sauce is thick and creamy and serve. Garnish with chopped coriander.