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Southern Indian Toor Dhal with erling.yoga

Toor Dhal

Dhal comes in all shapes and sizes, this is an authentic southern Indian version you'd expect to eat in homes and street eateries alike. Staple food thats nourishing and cheap to make. 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 people
Calories 350 kcal


  • 250 grams toor dhal oily or plain
  • 1.5 litres water approximately
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 piece green chilli whole or sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp raw peanuts optional
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 200 grams tomatoes finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida

spices for vaghar

  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 3 peices cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon 3 cm long
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida


  • Wash the dhal in several changes of water until it runs clear. If you use oily dhal soak it in hot water for a while before rinsing it several times. 
  • Put the dhal in a medium saucepan with I l of water and bring to the boil.
  • Lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes. Add more water and check it does not stick to the bottom. 
  • When the dhal is cooked soft enough to squash between two fingers remove from the heat and blend with a masher or blender to a smooth consistency
  • Return to blended dhal on low heat and add the ginger, lime juice, green chilli, curry leaves, turmeric, salt, 1/4 tsp asafoetida and the nuts if you have chosen them. 
  • Add 200ml water adn simmer for 6-8 minutes. Add more water if necessary. Until it has the consistency of a creamy soup. 

To prepare the vaghar

  • Heat the sunflower oil in a small pan on high heat, add the mustard seeds, cloves and cinnamon stick. When the seeds pop add the cumin seeds and the asafoetida. Add the tomatoes, stir and cover. 
  • When the tomatoes are soft, mash them coarsely and add to the dhal.
  • Mix thoroughly and serve the dhal hot with a garnish of chopped coriander. 
Keyword Dal