Urad Dhal

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Settler's Cookbook

By Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

Published 2009

  • About


  • 2 cups black lentils, unhulled
  • Salt
  • 2 green chillies, slit open
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée (optional)
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream (optional)
  • 2 pints water
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic and ginger
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1 tbsp garam masala


  • Soak the lentils overnight, then drain and boil in water (three times the quantity of the lentils).
  • To this add the ginger, garlic and chillies.
  • It takes at least an hour and a half, perhaps more, for the slow cooking.
  • Then add the garam masala and butter, stirring all the time.
  • It will turn into a shiny, thick, dark porridge.
  • You can stir in tomato purée and cream at this stage if you want to.
  • Just before serving, squeeze in the juice of a lemon or serve wedges of lime or lemon for people to add at the table.
  • This dhal shouldn’t be eaten with rice – too heavy. Thin roti or parathas are best. Japani’s Lemon, Chilli and Ginger Pickle works really well with this.