Peppered urad dal


A lovely traditional Indian warming dal with a twist. By adding pepper to the base it makes the dal thicker and gives it more flavour from the usual prominent garlic taste. Serve with some crusty bread or fluffy rice.

A very filling dish, reminds me that Autumn is around the corner! More soups and autumn food to start conjuring up, need to get ready for the season approaching!


150g split white urad dal
1 litre water for boiling
1 medium onion
1 yellow/orange bell pepper
1/2 green chilli
1 tsp grated ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves
Pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp coriander and cumin powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp rajma masala
200g tomato passata
1 veg stock cube
1/2 juice of small lemon
Squeeze of tomato ketchup
1/2 tsp sugar


1. Rinse and soak lentils for 40 minutes and then boil in 1 litre of water. Simmer for about an hour until the lentils are softer and start to break. You may need to add extra water to assist the boiling process due to absorption

2. Next puree the pepper, onion, garlic, ginger and chilli using a food blender

3. Heat oil in a large saucepan, add the mustard and cumin seeds, cloves and asafoetida. Once the seeds start to pop stir in the pureed pepper paste. Cook on a low heat for 2 minutes and throw in all the dry seasoning and spices

4. Mix in the tomato passata and cook on a low flame for 5 minutes and cover

5. Slowly pour in the boiled lentils with water and crumble in stock cube. Squeeze in lemon juice, and ketchup and stir throughly. Bring back to the boil and then simmer on a low flame for 15 minutes with cover off, stirring occasionally

6. At this stage you may want to re adjust water content if you want the dal to be thick or thin. Also check seasoning, add more salt if required

Garam and rajma masalas available from your local Indian food store