Fragrant Black Daal

chilli coriander cumin fenugreek garam masala turmeric

Dinner at Jolly's Indian Bistro

Indian’s almost all unanimously agree that the king of daals is the Black Daal. Rather blandly named, this daal is a rich, thick daal made using black lentils. It’s lightly, but carefully spiced, and an absolute joy to eat with rice. If you’re going out to a north indian restaurant in a large group, this will undoubtedly get ordered. Hope you enjoy our family rendition!

Recipe: Fragrant Black Daal

Serves 4


  • 100g dried black gram (mungo bean), soaked for about 6-8 hours
  • 1 tbsp single cream
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds, whole
  • 1/8 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • small bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped
  • small bunch of mint leaves finely chopped


  1. Boil the black gram along with the fenugreek seeds and salt until soft, do not drain.
  2. Heat butter in a pan, add 1/2tsp whole cumin seeds, chopped onion, ginger, garlic and green chilli.
  3. Fry for about 1-2mins, add powdered cumin, coriander seed,  chilli and garam maslala and pour all the boiled black gram in it along with 1 cup of water.
  4. Add chopped coriander and mint leaves, cover and cook for as long as you can, minimum of 30 mins, ideally over 1 hour, stirring well until all spices are well infused in it.
  5. Serve with a dollop of fresh cream.

photo: Raj Taneja

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