Lentil Dhal with Chapatis

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Makes 4 serves

For dhal:

  • 225g uncooked red lentils
  • 30g ghee or butter
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • half a tsp cumin
  • 750ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

For chapatis:

  • 1 cup plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 heaped tsp margarine
  • about 75ml warm water


  1. Wash the lentils and set them aside to drain and put a kettle of water on to boil.
  2. In a pot over high heat, sweat the onions in the butter/ghee with the garlic for a few minutes until the onions start turning golden brown.
  3. Add the curry powder and cumin to the onions and cook for about a minute, stirring continuously. Add the lentils and continue cooking while stirring for another two minutes or so.
  4. Add the 750ml boiling water into the pot and stir, then put a lid on the pot and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. While the dhal is simmering, make the chapatis. Place the flour into a bowl and rub the margarine into the flour. Slowly add the warm water to the flour bit by bit while mixing with your fingers, until it becomes a firm dough. You may need more or less water. Separate the dough into 4 even pieces and roll each piece out until it is quite thin.
  6. After the dhal has simmered for 20-25 minutes, remove the lid and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes until it becomes a porridge-like consistency.
  7. Start frying off the chapatis in a hot frying pan with a small amount of oil. Cook the first side of the chapatis for about 3 minutes until the underside becomes golden brown. Flip them over and cook for another minute or two, then put on a plate.
  8. Finish the dhal off by mixing in the lemon juice and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with rice and the chapatis.

Download a printable PDF version of the recipe.

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Download a printable PDF version of the recipe.