Red Lentil Dahl

Served here with watercress, hummus and olives.

Served here with watercress, hummus and olives.

This dahl is lean and mean, for less time cooking and more time doing other super important stuff like emails and vacuuming. It’s still healthy and full-flavoured, so there’s not a compromise in sight.

The core idea of the dish rests on red lentils, which cook much faster than other varieties. If you can cook well, this dish can go from the pantry to the plate in under 45 minutes.

When plating, adding leafy greens, hummus, olives, sauerkraut, tomatoes, cucumber or broccoli will round out the meal and hit a few more nutritional milestones.


  • 1 cup red lentils

  • 1 large onion, finely diced

  • 1 large capsicum, quartered and sliced

  • 1 large carrot, halved and sliced

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about four cloves)

  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 1 can tomatoes (good quality!!!)

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder 

  • 1 tablespoon turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable stock powder 

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 

  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Pantry to plate 45 minutes


  1. In a medium size pot, add the red lentils. Rinse and drain the lentils a few times to remove impurities and ensure they are washed. Cover the lentils with 3 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the stock powder to the pot. Continue boiling the lentils while the vegetables are prepped and cooked.

  2. Prep the vegetables: dice onion, slice capsicum, slice carrot, mince garlic and ginger.

  3. In a pan, lightly brown the vegetables in the oil over a medium-high heat.

  4. Once the vegetables are browned, turn down the heat. Add the spices to the pan and stir to combine with the vegetables. Buy a curry powder that smells nice and fragrant!

  5. Once the spices are combined with the vegetables, scrape it into the pot with the lentils (at whatever stage that happens to be).

  6. Stir this to combine with the lentil mix, and add the can of tomatoes. Please buy the nicest tomatoes you can – so much of this dish rests on the quality of your ingredients!

  7. Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer while you cook rice to accompany the dish.

  8. Serve hot with freshly cooked rice, leafy greens, hummus and other fresh or fermented vegetables. So good!