Toor Dal

Toor Dal

Toor dal is my favourite type of dal. This vegan, oil free version is slightly tangy, a bit smokey, and delicious over cooked grains.

Dal is an Indian word that refers to split, dried pulses AND the thick soups made from them. The English for toor dal is split pigeon peas. You can buy split pigeon peas either plain or coated in oil, and you can use either variety for this recipe. If you haven’t got an Asian supermarket nearby then you can buy this dal online (for example from Amazon, here). Unlike dried beans, dried dal doesn’t demand a soak before cooking. An overnight soak does reduce cooking time though!

To give the dal it’s characteristic fruity sour flavour, this recipe calls for kokum na phool. Kokum na phool is the dried outer cover of the kokum fruit. Again you can buy it online (here) or in an Asian supermarket. If you haven’t got any, then you can use some lemon juice instead.

Dal soups are great over cooked grains. For a bit of an Indian feast, serve alongside other curried dishes.

Free from: gluten, nut, soya, wheat

Yeast free: use 1tsp coconut sugar instead of the date

This is a vegan recipe

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Toor Dal
  • 1 cup toor dal lentils
  • 1 medjool date
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • chilli powder (to taste)
  • small handful kokum na phool
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • splash lemon juice
  1. If you are organised then soak the dal overnight or for a few hours.

  2. Wash the dal then pour into a large pan. To this add 5 cups of water along with a chopped medjool date. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, until the dal is soft. Skim off the skum as it forms on the top. 

  3. Meanwhile add the mustard seeds to a pan and dry fry until the seeds change colour and smell fragrant. Grind with a pestle and mortar. 

  4. Once the dal is cooked, blend using a hand blender. Add the rest of the ingredients (including the toasted mustard seeds) and simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the spices to infuse the dal. If the dal becomes too dry, add some more water.

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