Photo by: Jonathan Lovekin

Urad dal with coconut and coriander

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250g urad dal, soaked in plenty of water overnight
60g clarified butter or ghee
1 large onion (240g), peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
75g fresh root ginger, peeled and coarsely grated (60g)
1 green chilli, flesh and seeds finely chopped   
1 tbsp garam masala
5 medium tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (600g net)
160g coconut cream
2 tbsp lime juice, plus 1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve
1½ tbsp black mustard seeds, toasted

100g fresh coconut, roughly grated
50g crispy fried shallots (shop-bought)
30g coriander, roughly chopped

This is all about the texture of the urad dal. Also known as black gram or black lentil, the texture – which retains a bite even after its long cooking – is more like that of a mung bean than that of your usual lentil. The difference between black and white urad dal is that the white version has had its skin removed. I prefer to use the black – the skin helps the dal keeps it shape and gives the dish a pleasing bite – but the white, which you won’t need to soak overnight, works just as well. The inspiration for this I owe to Aasmah Mir, whose website,, is a treasure trove of Pakistani family cooking.

Serves four

(p, 125 Plenty More)


The method for this recipe is available in the book Plenty More, available to buy here.
Plenty More |

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Perfect with

  1. Aleppo chilli flakes

    Aleppo chilli flakes

  2. Quebec maple syrup

    Quebec maple syrup

  3. Tahini

    So smooth and creamy that it can be spread on toast, this is in a different league to other brands



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