A dhal dish from the SBS Food Safari.


  • 250g toor dal (yellow split peas)
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1cm piece ginger, crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 to 3 dry chillies
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • Chilli powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida powder
  • 200g chopped tomatoes
  • Coriander leaves


Wash and drain the toor dal. Put into a heavy based pan with water. Add turmeric and boil for 45 to 60 minutes until the dal is soft when pressed between the thumb and index finger.

In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic and ginger with a good pinch of salt to a paste. Heat oil in a small pan over low heat. Add mustard seeds and allow to pop. Add cumin seeds, dried chillies, curry leaves, chilli powder, asafoetida, ginger and garlic paste and fry. Pour the hot flavoured oil into the dal and stir well.

Add chopped tomatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with steamed rice or Indian breads.


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