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A comforting bowl of tomato and red lentil dal. We adore this dish it is perfect on its own, topped with fresh tomatoes, coconut yoghurt and fresh coriander leaves or as a tasty accompaniment to more curry dishes. Easy to make and full of warming spices, ginger, chilli (optional depending on if you or your kids like heat), fresh and tinned tomatoes. We make tomato dal in large batches and freeze for those days when you desire nourishing food but do not the will to create it.

tomato lentil dal


Serves                         4 to 6

Prep time                    30 minutes

Cooking time               1 hour


1 tbsp. rapeseed oil

2 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

40g fresh ginger, grated

1 carrot, finely diced

1 sweet red pepper finely diced

1 tbsp. ground garam masala

1 tbsp. mild/medium/hot curry powder

1 tbsp. tomato puree

1 red chilli, finely chopped – optional

250g dried red lentils, soaked in water, drained & rinsed

650ml vegetable stock/hot water

1x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1x 400g tin coconut milk

½ juice fresh lemon

A good pinch of salt

Few twists of black pepper

4 kaffir lime leaves

10 baby plum tomatoes, quartered

To serve

Spoonful coconut yoghurt

Few leaves fresh coriander

Fresh tomatoes


Tip the dried red lentils into a bowl and pour over enough cold water to cover them. Leave the lentils to soak for 30 minutes, then drain and rinse.

Heat the oil in a large high-sided pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion starts to soften. Then add the garlic, ginger and stir. Tip in the diced carrot, garam masala, curry powder, tomato puree and red chilli (if using). Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes -until you can smell the spice aroma.

Tip the drained red lentils into the pan, stir, stock/water, kaffir lime leaves and salt, then simmer, leaving the spoon in and the lid partially on until the water is absorbed. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the pan.

Add the tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and stir, bring to a gentle simmer. Stir, season with pepper, add the sweet red pepper, lemon juice and fresh quartered tomatoes and stir again.

Continue to stir, then reduce the heat, leave the spoon in, add the lid and simmer for about 35 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally.

Serve with a spoonful of coconut yoghurt, fresh coriander leaves and chopped tomatoes.

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat within 3 days or freeze.