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Light and comforting Himalayan dal

Spring has arrived! Get cosy with this light and easy dal recipe that doesn’t need a lot of time.

This dal is made with yellow split mung beans, legumes that contain a range of nutrients that help the digestive system. Add some spring greens like baby spinach to welcome the verdant months ahead.

Serves 4–6


  • 300g (1⅓ cups) mung dal (yellow split mung beans)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp Bassar curry masala (or hot chilli powder)
  • 70g (1½ cups) baby spinach leaves


  1. Put the mung dal into a mixing bowl and wash it thoroughly, then drain well.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the cumin seeds. When they start popping, add the garlic and stir for about a minute, then throw in the onion and cook for a further minute. Stir in the tomatoes, turmeric, salt and curry masala and keep cooking until the onions and tomatoes have softened, about 3–4 minutes.
  3. Now add the dal to the pan, using a little boiling water to rinse out any grains stuck inside the bowl. Stir the dal through the mixture for 3–4 minutes, then pour in 1 litre (4 cups) of boiling water and turn the heat down to medium. Cover and cook for 30–35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the dal is cooked, add the baby spinach and stir it through. If you like your dal runny, you might like to add some more boiling water at this point too – about 200 ml (7 fl oz) should do it. When the spinach has wilted, ladle the dal into a serving bowl.

Recipe: Taste Tibet, Yeshi Jampa and Julie Kleeman, SBS