Urid Daal

This warming urid daal recipe is great as a vegetarian main dish. The Indian favourite is perfect served with warm chapatis and cool mint and coriander chutney.

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Serves 4


250g urid daal
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp sunflower oil
25g butter
2 small onions, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
2 green chillies, finely chopped
½ tsp cumin seeds, roasted (see method below)
1 black cardamom pod
1 small cinnamon stick
3 plum tomatoes, skinned and deseeded
1 tsp tomato purée
1 tsp salt
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 small handful of fresh coriander
½ tsp garam masala


Wash the urid daal and put it into a pan with 1 litre of water and ½ teaspoon turmeric. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10—15 minutes. Check that the daal is nice and soft but retains a little bit of bite.

To roast the cumin seeds, place them in a small pan and put them over a gentle heat for about 1 - 1½ minutes. They will take on a slightly darker colour. You've got to be very careful here, as if they're roasted too long they will burn and this will produce a bitter taste. When they are ready, take the pan off the heat and allow the cumin to cool.

Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, garlic and green chillies and cook for about 3 minutes. Take out a tablespoon of the mixture and set aside for a garnish at the end, then add the cumin seeds, black cardamom and cinnamon stick.

Simmer for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes, tomato purée, salt, the remaining turmeric and chilli powder. Cook for a further 3 minutes, then add to the cooked urid daal and stir well. Add the coriander and garam masala and simmer for a final 2 minutes.

Serve with the reserved onion and garlic garnish, along with chapatis, mint and coriander chutney and salad.

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