22 August 2018 Lorraine 0Comment
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This dish is typically served with veg biryani, there are different variations to cook Dal but this particular recipe has masala as one of the ingredients. Most South Indians would probably cook this Masala Dal. I am South Indian and hubby is North Indian, when  I sometimes cook a South Indian recipe he would think I’m crazy, there are not many differences between the South Indian and North Indian way of cooking in South Africa, flavours and ingredients are fairly similar.

However, South Indians do like their dishes with a lot more spice. This Masala Dal was typically served with Biryani at functions and definitely takes Veg Biryani to a whole new level.

If you are wondering what’s the difference between North and South Indian, well there isn’t much difference. It’s just the language that differs, South Indians speak Tamil or Telegu and North Indians speak Hindi.

Masala Dal

Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4


  • 1/2 cup dry yellow split peas
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 sprig curry leaf
  • 1 small tomato blanched and diced
  • 1/4 tspn black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tspn cumin seeds
  • 1 dry chilli
  • 1/2 tspn garlic crushed
  • 1/4 tspn turmeric
  • 1/4 tspn garam masala
  • 1 tspn masala
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or melted ghee (I used light olive oil which is also fine)


  • Wash the split peas well, rinse it a few times until the water runs clear. You can also soak your dhall for a few hours before boiling but not necessary. Add dhall, turmeric and some salt with 2 cups of water to a saucepan and cook until soft, I prefer mine really mushy but if you are happy with it a little grainy that's fine too.
  • In a separate pan heat oil, add the mustard seeds and cumin. As soon as the seeds start popping add your onion, dry chilli and curry leaf. Saute until onion is a little brown.
  • Add garlic and fry for a minute. Add masala and garam masala. Fry for a minute and then add the tomato. You can add a few drops of water, cover and cook on a low heat until tomatoes are cooked.
  • Add the cooked split peas and let it simmer on a low heat until dhall thickens, you can check the consistency as it cooks and add more water based on your preference.

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