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Lentil, Tamarind and Date Dhansak

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Introduction

I love this combination of earthy lentils, sour tamarind and sweet dates. The finished dhansak is so full of tang and flavour that you really need eat nothing else with it, save some couscous, quinoa or rice.

I love this combination of earthy lentils, sour tamarind and sweet dates. The finished dhansak is so full of tang and flavour that you really need eat nothing else with it, save some couscous, quinoa or rice.

Ingredients

Serves: 2-4

Metric Cups
  • 3 teaspoons garlic infused olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 x 3 centimetres piece of fresh root ginger (peeled and grated)
  • 200 grams red lentils
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind paste from a jar
  • 750 millilitres freshly boiled water
  • 75 grams soft dried pitted dates (each one scissored into 8 small pieces)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs of fresh dill (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
  • 3 teaspoons garlic flavored oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1¼ inches piece of fresh gingerroot (peeled and grated)
  • 1½ cups red lentils
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind paste from a jar
  • 3 cups freshly boiled water
  • 10 soft dried pitted dates (each one scissored into 8 small pieces)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs of fresh dill (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan that has a lid and fry the cumin seeds for a few seconds. Add the ginger and stir for another minute or so.
  2. Add the lentils to the pan, stirring them into the cumin and ginger, then spoon in the tamarind paste and pour in the water.
  3. Tip in the chopped dates and the bay leaves and bring to the boil.
  4. Clamp on the lid, turn the heat down to very low and simmer the lentils for about 30 minutes, by which time they should have absorbed most of the liquid and will be soft.
  5. Serve with rice or couscous as desired and sprinkle the lentils with dill and pomegranate seeds.
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan that has a lid and fry the cumin seeds for a few seconds. Add the ginger and stir for another minute or so.
  2. Add the lentils to the pan, stirring them into the cumin and ginger, then spoon in the tamarind paste and pour in the water.
  3. Tip in the chopped dates and the bay leaves and bring to the boil.
  4. Clamp on the lid, turn the heat down to very low and simmer the lentils for about 30 minutes, by which time they should have absorbed most of the liquid and will be soft.
  5. Serve with rice or couscous as desired and sprinkle the lentils with dill and pomegranate seeds.

Tell us what you think

What 3 Others have said

  • This is absolutely delicious, the 2 of us finished it all!!

    Posted by Dawnel on 2nd December 2015
  • You could also add fenugreek or spinach leave and pumpkin or squash for a heartier version. and once cooked you could whirr it in a mixer for a smooth consitency

    Posted by poojitrix on 1st December 2013
  • Delicious recipe, a nice variation on plain dhal.

    Posted by samidasilva on 14th January 2013
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