Chana dal

Channa dal

This spiced curry is an ideal vegetarian main course and is ready in just 40 minutes.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Servings: 4 people


  • 250g dried yellow chickpeas or lentils
  • 1 tbsp madras paste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • A palm full of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges


Drain the chickpeas and put in a pan with the water. Bring to the boil and cook on a moderate heat for approximately 35 minutes or until they are well cooked and have gone mushy.

In a separate pan heat the oil, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves and cook for approximately 1 minute taking care not to burn the mixture.

Add the madras paste and cook for a further 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and allow to cook for 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add all the mixture to the cooked lentils. Check the seasoning, and adjust the salt and add the sugar. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir through the chopped fresh coriander. Serve with naan bread and rice.

For best results, soak the chickpeas and lentils in water overnight.