Indian Thali Plate

Silky Punjabi-style lentils, runner beans flecked with coconut, and a cooling raita make a healthy yet highly exotic supper from Monisha Bharadwaj
By Monisha Bharadwaj
Indian Thali Plate
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the dahl

  • 150 g yellow lentils, or toor dahl
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger- garlic paste
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 300 ml hot water
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp ghee, optional

For the spiced runner beans

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch asafoetida
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 300 g runner beans, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp desiccated coconut

For the onion and mint raita

  • 150 g plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 green chilli, very finely chopped, optional
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • handful mint leaves, finely chopped


1. To make the dahl: put the lentils, onion, green chillies, ginger-garlic paste, tomato purée and turmeric powder in a heavy saucepan and pour in the hot water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for around 35 minutes, or until the lentils are very soft and mushy and the onion has almost melted into the dahl.

2. Meanwhile, to prepare the runner beans: heat the oil and add in the mustard seeds. As they start to pop, add the cumin, asafoetida and onion and stir-fry until the onion is soft.

3. Add the runner beans and salt. Pour in a few tablespoons of water and cook uncovered until the beans are tender.

4. Meanwhile, to make the onion and mint raita: combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Just before serving, add salt to taste.

5. When the runner beans are done, remove the pan from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and sprinkle with the coconut. Season the dahl to taste with salt and add the ghee if using. Serve hot alongside the spiced runner beans and the raita.

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