Black Dhal : Basic Lentil Curry

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This is a punjabi staple that is cooked by most families of North Indian origin. It is also a dish which is offered in our Gudwaras, place of worship for Sikhs and during most festival or celebratory gatherings. It is a regular feature in mine and my families home when there is to be a gathering.

With just a little preparation it is easy and absolutely delicious to be eaten with rice or chapatis.


Black gram/Urad Dhal – 1/2 a cup

NUTRIENTS :- Protein & Fibre, low in fat & sugars. VITAMINS :- B-6. MINERALS :- Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium.

Raw kidney beans – 1/4 of a cup

NUTRIENTS :- Protein & Fibre, low in fat & sugars. VITAMINS :- C, B-6. MINERALS :- Iron, Magnesium, Calcium.

Thumb size of Ginger peeled and left whole.

NUTRIENTS :- Low in fat & sugars. VITAMINS :- B6, A, C. MINERALS :- Iron, Magnesium, Potassium. .

2 cloves of Garlic

NUTRIENTS :- No fat & sugars. VITAMINS :- C, B6. MINERALS :- Manganese, calcium, iron, potassium, selenium, copper.

2 Green Chillies – sliced in half

NUTRIENTS :- Low in fat & sugars. VITAMINS :- A. C.

1 Large Onion.

1-1.5 tsp of Garam Masala

NUTRIENTS :- No fat & sugars. VITAMINS :- A, C. MINERALS :- Calcium, Iron.

Garam Masala is a mixture of spices including cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, cumin, coriander – this may vary. Many households make their own but this spice mixture is easily sourced.

1/2 tsp of Chilli Powder – this will be determined by how hot you want it.

VITAMINS :- A, B-6. MINERALS :- Iron, Calcium, Magnesium. Potassium.

2 fresh tomatoes or a 3/4 Tinned tomatoes or a good glug of Passata.

Coriander Leaves to finish

NUTRIENTS :- Very low in fat & Sugars. VITAMINS :- A, C, K. MINERALS :- Iron, Calcium, Potassium.

Salt to taste. We only use himalayan salt, which will taste less salty when initially used but after a little while you will realise how saturated in salt products are.


Soak a small 3/4 cup of urid dhal with 1/4 cup of raw kidney beans overnight in warm water, so that the water covers the Lentils & Beans.

In the morning pour the contents of the entire bowl in a pressure cooker, preferably, if you don’t have a pressure cooker just use a tall saucepan.

Place the ginger, garlic, chillies and salt in with the Lentils and beans, pour over some warm water from the kettle & cook on a medium heat. Cook until some of the water has evaporated and the Lentils and Beans are soft.

In a frying pan, cut 1 large onions in rough chucks and fry in a little sunflower oil.

Once softened add the garam masala and the chilli powder and fry off until the spices are cooked through.

The colour of the onions will change dramatically to a dark brown, this is what your looking for.

Place on a low heat before adding the tomotoes, fresh, tinned or passata, your choice.

Cook down and add salt to your taste, at least 1 tsp.

Add to the Pre- cooked Lentils and Beans and mix well.

You should have a thick gravy.

Finish with coriander.


This dish can be cooled and placed in the fridge, it will last for a good week, to be re-heated as and when needed. You may need to add a tiny bit of warm water when re-heating just to loosen the gravy.

Eat with a nan, chapati or rice. I have been known just to eat alone when feeling lazy or very hungry.


Chilli Paneer can be eaten as a snack or an accompaniment to rice.

This recipe will take about 20 minutes to cook and taste absolutely delicious.


1 Pack of Paneer – you can purchase this from most good supermarkets.

NUTRIENTS :- Protein and No added sugar. VITAMINS :- A. MINERALS :- Calcium.

1 large pepper – whichever colour.

NUTRIENTS :- Natural source of fructose & glucose. VITAMINS :- C, B6, K1, E, A. MINERALS :- Folate & Potassium.

Tomato Ketchup – 1 tbsp.

Soy Sauce – 1 tbsp.

Chilli Sauce – 1 tbsp.

Vinegar – 1 tsp.


Cut the paneer into cubes.

De-seed and cut the pepper into large pieces.

On a frying pan heat a little oil.

Fry the paneer until they look golden brown, you will need to turn them over to ensure all sides of the paneer are coloured.

Lower the heat to low – mid heat to avoid spluttering of the sauces when added.

Add your sauces. These should be added according to taste. So if you prefer something a little salty add more soy sauce, if you prefer it spicy add more chilli sauce. I would suggest you add a little at a time to avoid too much of one.

Add the cut peppers and allow the ingredients to cook together.

This should take about 5-10 mins, be careful to periodically stir to prevent the paneer and the peppers sticking to the pan.

Once the peppers are cooked and the sauces have been sufficiently mixed, the dish is complete.

Add coriander leaves if you wish and serve.

I wouldn’t recommend leaving this if you have any leftovers, paneer is soft cheese so it should be eaten at one serving.

Herb Chutney

A 10 minute chutney, full of natural goodness and will keep for a week in the fridge to be used as a base on bread, pizza or just as an accompaniment.

You will need a blender of some kind.


Fresh Coriander, a handful – these usually come in packets, if you purchase a small packet, use the whole amount.

NUTRIENTS :- Very low in fat & Sugars. VITAMINS :- A, C, K. MINERALS :- Iron, Calcium, Potassium.

Fresh Mint Leaves, a handful – if your being really precise I would recommend 10-15 leaves.

NUTRIENTS :- Low in fat & sugars. Aids digestion. VITAMINS :- A. MINERALS :- Iron.

1 inch of Ginger, peeled.

NUTRIENTS :- Low in fat & sugars. VITAMINS :- B6, A, C. MINERALS :- Iron, Magnesium, Potassium.

1 Green Chilli.

NUTRIENTS :- Low in fat & sugars. VITAMINS :- A. C.

1 Lemon – squeeze the lemon juice from one half.

VITAMINS :- C, B6. MINERALS :- Potassium.

Salt to taste.


Thoroughly wash the coriander & the mint leaves, stalks included, discard, any old or blackened leaves and stalks.

Peel the ginger.

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend, ensure that you blend for sufficient time to ensure that all the ingredients have been thoroughly blended.

The consistency should be as that shown in the above image, you may need to add a little water to achieve that but a very small amount of water should be sufficient.

Taste for salt, add a little more according to taste.

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