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Wholesome Sour Dal

"A popular South Asian dish traditionally made with sugar and butter. We have adapted this recipe using no salt, butter or sugar and have instead used spray oil to reduce its fat content."




  • 215g red split lentils
  • 215g chana daal
  • 1⁄2 tsp turmeric
  • 500g tomatoes, chopped
  • 5g ginger, peeled
  • 6g garlic, peeled
  • 50g green chillies, chopped (remove seeds if prefer a milder taste)
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp coriander

For tempering:

  • 0.4ml spray oil
  • 1⁄2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 9g sliced garlic cloves
  • 7.5g dried chillies, whole or roughly chopped
  • 5g curry leaves



  1. Soak both lentil varieties in water for 40 minutes and rinse well. Place in a large pan with turmeric, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and chillies. Add 1.5 litres of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiled, turn the heat down and cook until it is a thick puree, adding water if the mixture becomes too dry or starts to stick to the pan.
  3. Once you reach the desired thickness of your daal, add the tamarind paste, chilli powder and ground coriander. Taste to check the seasoning. Maintain at low heat.
  4. Tempering: Heat the spray oil in a small frying pan, add the cumin seeds for about 30 seconds. Then, add the garlic and cook for 10 seconds until golden as it can burn very quickly. Then, add the dried chillies and curry leaves, until the leaves turn to a crisp. Pour over the daal.
  5. Serve with brown basmati rice or with wholemeal chapati.



Energy: 291 kcal, Fat: 1.9g, Saturated fat: 0.3g, Carbohydrate: 44g, (of which sugars) = 7.1g, Fibre: 8.5g, Protein: 19g, Salt: 0.69g


ALLERGENS: Celery, Gluten (if served with chapati)





  • This recipe does not include added salt. Instead, try swapping the salt for paprika or lemon juice.
  • Serve with brown rice instead of white for extra fibre intake or wholemeal chapati instead of naan or puri, which are traditionally high in salt and fat.
  • The tempering process is an important aspect of the dish and culture, and therefore it has not been compromised. However, changes can be made to this by using spray oil or vegetable oil instead of traditionally using ghee or butter.


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