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Chili Dhal

Chili Dhal

This classic Indian side dish is spiced up with southwestern chili flavors.MORE+LESS-

Updated September 11, 2017


tablespoon mustard seed


tablespoon coriander seed


tablespoon ancho chile powder


tablespoon chipotle chile powder


can (28 oz) diced tomato

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  • 1

    Take the first 7 ingredients and heat them in a pan until fragrant. Blend in a spice grinder. Add the next 2 ingredients, Ancho and Chipotle powders.

  • 2

    Dice the onion, pepper and garlic, and run a knife through the black beans to cut them up a bit.

  • 3

    Saute the onions and peppers in some oil. After about 8 minutes, just before they start to brown, add the garlic. 1 minute later, add the can of tomatoes. Add the spices.

  • 4

    Rinse the lentils and add them. Add the black beans, honey, and turmeric.

  • 5

    Let simmer for about 15 minutes. Add water if you need to loosen it up.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • When I cook "fusion" dishes, I don't try and force things to go together that don't belong together.I think that when chefs start doing that, people start to hate the whole idea of fusion. But fusion can be a beautiful thing, and many dishes from one culture are very similar to dishes from another. Culinary cousins, if you will.Enter the Indian dish Dhal. Dhal is a veggie and lentil side that is spooned over rice. Last time I ate Dhal, I thought to myself, This sort of reminds me of chili! So I cooked a Dhal recipe, slightly altering some ingredients and spices to make it taste like chili, and the results were fantastic!First you need to make a garam masala spice blend. The words garam masala literally translate to "hot mixture," but the hot doesn't necessarily mean burn your mouth, it means spice. All garam masalas are different -- today I made a cumin-coriander-mustard heavy mix, and used less clove and fenugreek than normal. This would help the dhal taste more like chili.Serve with Basmati Rice and enjoy!

Dhal recipe – How to cook in three simple steps

Dhal is one universal Indian dish that transcends cultures, races, gender, old and young, serve in the restaurant as well as the &lsquoMamak&rsquo store at the alleys.

The reason? It has a universal taste, not spicy, vegetarian, mild, kid-friendly, can be the main dish, side dish, ideally eaten with roti, naan (flatbread), poppadoms, humble plain rice or the fit-to-royalty biryani rice. It is hard to find any other simple meal that is so versatile as dhal.

You can spell it as dhal, dal or dahl, which refers to the same Indian dal recipe. The local restaurants in Malaysia served it mostly with roti canai or banana leaf rice.

So here is my version of the easy dhal recipe with some Malaysian influence, quick to make, highly popular, and extremely nutritious.

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You can either use the red lentils (Masoor dhal) or the yellow lentils (Split Pigeon Pea or Toor dhal). Both are the popular choice in Malaysia. I am using the yellow lentils in this recipe.

In summary, dhal curry is prepared with slow-boiled lentils, combined with tempered spices (mainly cumin) coupled with onions, tomatoes, and garlic. Other common ingredients in other recipes include eggplants and tomatoes.

Masoor Dal (Red Lentil Curry) Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or use coconut oil)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (use bell pepper for milder heat)
  • 1 large potato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes (or more to taste!)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 14 ounces chopped tomato (or use chopped fresh tomato)
  • 2 cups water (or more as needed &ndash or use vegetable broth)
  • 14 ounces coconut milk (1 can &ndash use fat free for a lighter meal)
  • 1 cup red lentils (masoor dal) &ndash Be sure to rinse the lentils, and sift through them to remove any debris or stones
  • FOR SERVING: Cooked rice or cauliflower rice for a lower calorie version, fresh chopped herbs, spicy chili flakes, sliced peppers


For the Lentils

Clean, wash and soak the black lentils and kidney beans separately, overnight.

Combine the two dhals and add 2 cups of water with a little salt and put into a pressure cooker and cook for about 25 minutes until they are cooked and soft.

(DO NOT REMOVE the lid of the pressure cooker until fully cooled and pressure has been released.)

For the Masala

Heat the oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.

When the cumin seeds crackle, add chopped onions and garlic.

Fry the onion until golden brown over a medium flame.

Stir in the tomato purée, add the turmeric, chili powder, ginger, green chili peppers and crushed coriander.

Cook for a few minutes so the onions and tomatoes melt together.

Add the cooked dhal and 1 cup of water and season with a little salt to taste.

Leave to simmer for 15 minutes until it is lovely and thick.

(Take care as it may catch on the bottom of the pan.)

Stir in the butter, garam masala and fenugreek to make the dhal rich and delicious.

Urad dal recipe

Urad dal recipe is a tasty North Indian style split black gram preparation served with rice, roti and parathas.

Our New Year lunch spread included North Indian style dhuli urad dal that I served with masala paratha, tawa pulao and boondi raita. Urad dhal in english is called split black gram and also goes by the names, dhuli dal, dhuli urad, maa ki dal, white lentils or white urad dal. Dhuli urad dal is a popular lentil among regional cuisines in the hindi speaking states and other North Indian regions like Punjab.

Rich in dietary fibre and protein, black gram when cooked is sticky and is a heavier dal compared to tur dal and moong. Urad dal does take time to cook and when slow cooked over wood fire it has a smoky addictive flavor. I slow cooked the dal over wood fire since I love the smoky flavor which is reminiscent of dabha style dal. The method of cooking dhuli dal over wood fire helps the dal cook well, hold shape with no slime. Alternately, you can pressure cook the dal. Dhuli urad does become slimy after cooking and to reduce the slime, I suggest you dry roast urad dal on low flame for five to six minutes before pressure cooking it. Take care that the udad dal does not get either under cooked or mushy.

Recipe of urad dal is straightforward, easy to make and is very close to Punjabi sookhi dhuli dal, a dry saute preparation. There are a few variations to the basic urad ki daal with each version having an addictive, unique flavor. If you do not want to use garlic, replace it with asafoetida. Ghee or clarified butter is preferred in the tempering as it elevates the flavor of the urad ki dhal by leaps and bounds.

With warming flavors, urad dal made for a perfect vegetarian meal along with masala paratha and aloo ke gutke. If you are looking out for tasty white urad dal recipes, this comforting urad dal recipe fits the bill.

A simple, healthy and wholesome everyday North Indian style urad ki dal that makes for a comforting side with warm rotis or paratha.

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