Here's the way my father taught me to make dahl. I've added a couple of bits, it's really simple earthy grub and tastes wonderful!


Arun Kapil's Dahl 

Serves: 2

  • 1 medium brown onion, peeled, diced 15mm
  • 1 leek, green parts only, washed, sliced thinly on the bias
  • 1 tblsp grapeseed oil
  • 150g split red lentils 
  • 1 small glass white wine
  • 300ml water 
  • ¾ tsp, turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt to taste
  • Small handful fresh curly parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh red chilli, thinly sliced 

Arun’s ‘Garam’ Soda Bun
These are brilliant with soups, but I prefer them spread thickly with jam or generously doused with my saffron honey as a quick and healthy snack!

Makes: About 15 buns or a little more than a 1lb loaf tin

  • 625ml buttermilk, or 600ml of full fat milk with juice of half a lemon
  • 30ml water
  • 30g dark muscavado
  • 1 large hen egg
  • 50g golden linseed
  • 450g coarse wholemeal flour
  • 40g Green Saffron garam masala spice blend
  • 75g pinhead oatmeal
  • 10g sea salt
  • 10g bicarbonate of soda, sieved into the flour so there are no lumps and it’s evenly distributed


Arun Kapil's Dahl 

1.  In a saucepan or casserole, gently fry the onion and leek tops in the oil until soft
2.  Pour in the lentils along with the wine and reduce down until all liquid has gone, stirring frequently.
3.  Add the water and turmeric powder, bring to the boil, half cover with a lid, turn down the heat. Simmer and allow to gently bubble, stirring frequently until the lentils are tender enough to eat, about 20 mins and most of the water has been absorbed and evaporated away. You’re looking for the lentils to have a slack risotto, thick cream consistency
4.  Remove from the heat, add and stir through the parsley.

Pour into warmed shallow bowls, sprinkle over the chilli. I eat this just as is, but if you like you could maybe add a dollop of yoghurt and serve with my ‘garam soda bun’ on the side. Yum!

Arun’s ‘Garam’ Soda Bun

1.  Turn your oven to 180˚C
2.  In a bowl, dissolve the Muscovado sugar in the water, crushing the big lumps, then crack the eggs into the mixture and lightly whisk to combine 
3.  In a separate, larger mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, then make a well in the centre.
4.  Pour all the liquids into the well, make a ‘claw’ shape with your hand (like those fairground crane games) and with a light touch only just combine all the ingredients to form a loose dough or batter
5.  Grease the divots of a brioche or muffin mould with a little sunflower oil and pour in the batter, smoothing off the top, flush with the mould.
6.  Pop into your oven and bake for about 1 hour and 15minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when you tap its base. Maybe check on them after 50minutes. Enjoy!
The buns or loaves will keep well for 1 week in a tin or bread bin