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August 6, 2015

by Nisha Katona

When Indians want to give their guts a spa treatment, they get out the lentils. Every Indian has a bowl of dahl at the ready in the fridge, it is to India what ‘Dairylea on toast’ is to St Helens – stumbling in at night, a quick warming comfort. Full of protein, fat free and quick to cook, Dahl makes a great meat replacement. The freshness of the lemon and the green zing of the coriander give this dish a Jo Malone elegance. Lentils are not just for soap dodgers, how about a 2013 ‘meat free Monday’ resolution? Lentils could change your life and health for the better!


Ingredients: one cup of red lentils; 2 1/2 Cups of water; 1 teaspoon turmeric; 1/2 tin chopped tomato; 1 teaspoon cumin seeds; 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil; 1 chopped green chili (optional); salt to taste; 1 heaped teaspoon of sugar; juice of 1/2 lemon-more if you like it very lemony; half a bunch of chopped coriander leaf.


  • In a big pan, boil up your water, lentils, tomato, turmeric until it becomes like a medium thick soup. Add more water if you want it looser, boil on if you want it thicker.
  • In a separate pan, heat the oil, add the cumin seeds. When the have finished spluttering, add the green chili and turn off the heat.
  • Add the spiced oil to the boiled lentils and add the sugar, salt and lemon juice. Simmer for a further 5 minutes and add the coriander in at the end.
  • Serve with rice, with wraps or on its own with a spoon. Great cold with hot buttered toast!

You can find the video lesson of this recipe on

About the Author: Nisha Katona is a food writer, Indian Cookery teacher and founder of Mowgli pataks_nisha_squar_2852765bStreet food. She has series of Youtube video tutorials that have a worldwide following. She has over  22000 twitter followers for her daily recipes and live Curry Clinics. She has recently worked on a filming project with Food Network. Professionally Nisha has worked as a Barrister for over 20 years in the area of Child Protection. In 2008 the Department of Culture, Media and Sport appointed her as trustee of National Museums Liverpool and in 2009, the Cabinet Office appointed her as an Ambassador for Diversity in Public Appointments, and in this capacity has been engaged as an expert advisor by The Guardian newspaper.

Pimp My Rice_Cover_WEL

Nisha Katona
Pimp my Rice
Available from Nourish Books from October 2015



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