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Quick & delicious Dhal
Quick & delicious Dhal Photo by Zac Peatling

Quick & delicious Dhal

Isa Du Toit Recipes


  • 500g Red lentils
  • 2 Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 t turmeric
  • 4 t paprika
  • 2 ½ pints vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 T Olive oil


  1. Add stock cubes to boiling water and leave to dissolve
  2. Fry the onions gently in the olive oil until translucent
  3. Add the spices and stir to mix with the onions
  4. Gently fry the mixture on a low heat for a minute
  5. Add the lentils and stir to mix with the onions and spices
  6. Add the warm stock liquid, stir well and bring to the boil
  7. Turn the heat down to a low heat/simmer
  8. Cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked and breaking up
  9. Stir occasionally during cooking and keep an eye on it to make sure it has enough liquid and is not ‘catching’
  10. The dhal can easily ‘catch’ or burn if it doesn’t have enough liquid or isn’t stirred occasionally.
  11. Add a bit more liquid if necessary - just be careful not to add too much in one go as it will water the dhal down and turn it into soup!


Serve the dhal with Basmati rice or on crisp jacket potatoes; with fresh crusty bread, naan or warm pitta breads. Whatever you choose to eat with the dhal, it makes for a delicious, inexpensive and nutritious meal!

Good-for-you ingredients


The low GI of lentils keeps blood sugar levels steady and provides a slow release of energy.

Lentils are rich in protein (for building muscle and repairing damaged tissue), soluble fibre (for gut health, helping to reduce cholesterol and lowering the risk of heart disease). Lentils also contain iron (for healthy blood and transporting oxygen around the body), zinc (for healthy immune system and wound healing), magnesium (for the transmission of nerve impulses, also bone and heart health) potassium (for regulating body fluids) and B Vitamins (essential for a healthy nervous system and releasing energy from food).


Turmeric contains the supernutrient curcumin, which has a powerful anti-inflammatory action; it suppresses the release of inflammatory agents in the body and indirectly helps tissue heal by the release of cortisone.

Turmeric also fights cancer by preventing cancer cells from dividing and multiplying; it lowers blood cholesterol and prevents blood from clotting, thus helping to fight heart disease.

Clinical trials are currently evaluating the use of turmeric for preventing or treating arthritis, kidney and vascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimers disease. Indian villagers with a high intake of turmeric have the lowest incidence of the disease in the world.