Mixed black dal

Madhur Jaffrey recreates Southall Gurdwaras slow-cook dal recipe it's simple to make and only needs the occasional stir
By Madhur Jaffrey
Mixed black dal
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus soaking overnight
  • Effort: easy


  • 100 g black lentils, also known as whole urad dal with skin on
  • 100 g mung beans, also known as whole mung dal with skin
  • 100 g chana dal, or the inner layer of black chickpeas split in half
  • 100 g moth beans
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cm root ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 3 tsp hot green chillies, finely chopped
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 1¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 4 tsp garam masala

Tips and Suggestions

For an extra kick, heat some oil in a small pan, add cumin seeds and fry for 10 seconds and then add two whole dried red chillies and fry until they darken. Add to the mixed black dal for extra flavour


1. The night before you want to serve the dal, rinse all four types of dal well then combine them in a heavy-based pan about 25cm in diameter. Pour in 2 litres of water and leave to soak overnight.

2. The next day, place the pan over a high heat and add the onions, ginger, chilli, butter, salt and turmeric. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer at a gentle bubble for about 2½ hours, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the garam masala, mix thoroughly, cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

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