Tomato and Lentil Dahl with Toasted Almonds

DahlSomeone asked me for this recipe recently so I thought I’d post it here.

Tried and trusted, it gives the most delicious result, making for a light but nutritious vegetarian meal, rich and full of flavour (although mild, rather than mind-blowingly hot).

Serve it with some warm naan bread and maybe some cool, refreshing natural yoghurt.

Tomato and Lentil Dahl with Toasted Almonds

Serves 4


*As usual, my suggested substitutes for the ingredients have been included and have worked well when the original are unavailable (or you can’t be bothered with peeling and de-seeding tomatoes!).

30ml / 2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 carrot, diced

10ml / 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds (*sub: same quantity of grainy mustard)

2.5 cm / 1 inch piece root ginger, grated

10 ml / 2 tsp ground turmeric

5 ml / 1 tsp mild chilli powder

5 ml / 1 tsp garam masala

225g / 8 oz / 1 cup split red lentils

400 ml / 14 fl oz / 1-2/3 cups water

400 ml / 14 fl oz / 1-2/3 coconut milk

5 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (*sub: 400g tin chopped tomatoes, drained)

Juice of 2 limes

60 ml / 4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

25g / 1 oz / 1/4 cup flaked almonds, toasted, to serve



Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan.  Sauté the onion for 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic, carrot, cumin, mustard seeds and ginger.  Cook for 5 minutes until the seeds begin to pop and the carrot softens slightly.

Stir in the ground turmeric, chilli powder and garam masala, and cook for 1 minute or until the flavours begin to mingle, stirring to prevent the spices burning.

Add the lentils, water, coconut milk and tomatoes and season well.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils sticking.

Stir in the lime juice and 45 ml / 3 tbsp of the fresh coriander, then check the seasoning.  Cook for a further 15 minutes until the lentils soften and become tender.

To serve: Sprinkle with the remaining coriander and the flaked almonds.


From: ‘Vegetarian’ The Greatest Ever Vegetarian Cookbook, publisher LORENZ BOOKS, ISBN 0 7548 0090 3

Nutrition notes:

Spices have long been recognised for their medicinal qualities, from curing flatulence (useful when added to a pulse dish) to warding off colds and flu.

Lentils are a useful source of low-fat protein.  They contain good amounts of B vitamins and provide a rich source of zinc and iron.

You need to eat food rich in vitamin C at the same meal to improve absorption of iron.  Limes are a good source, but you could also serve a fresh fruit dessert containing apples, kiwi fruit and oranges.



Filed under Cookery

8 responses to “Tomato and Lentil Dahl with Toasted Almonds

  1. Julia

    I love this recipe! I always double the quantity of spices though, adds more of a flavour kick.

  2. Lorna

    This is by far my favorite version of dahl and my daughter has loved it since she was a toddler. This is just one of many delicious dishes in this cookbook!

    • Jayne

      Another vote for this. 🙂 I agree, it’s lovely and yes, the Vegetarian cookbook is a great source of all kinds of delicious veggie dishes.
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

  3. Pingback: Not too spicy, plenty of spices | proper fud

  4. Pingback: Meal Ideas

  5. Margaret-Ann

    Hi, I`d just like to say thanx so so much for the recipe, it`s great and both my husband and son love it too. Just wanted to let you know what I did last time, with the left over cola cooking mixture…………I added a sliced red onion and reduced the mixture down to a thin batter consistency (about 20 25 mins on high heat) I then added 2 very large tbs of tomato puree and stirred till everything was smooth, this helped with the sweetness and the saltiness, I added some extra water later when re-heating the mixture to pour over the meat. We love it and I hope you do too. Thanx again for the recipe

    • Jayne

      I’m just glad there is another fan of this recipe. It sounds like such a riduculous thing to use Coca Cola yet it works well. That wasted cooking juice has always kind of bothered me so if you’ve found a way to utilise it that it’s great. I’ll definitely bear this in mind. 🙂

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