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Chickpea Dhal

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Supper
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons groundnut oil groundnut oil is quite neutral, you can substitute butter or coconut oil if you wish
  • 2 onions, finely chopped if you have a fussy eater you can omit the onions but your dhal won't be as tasty
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes You can use more if you like it hot
  • 2 400g tins chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup lentils (about 125g)
  • 1 400ml tin coconut milk
  • chopped fresh coriander to garnish if you wish
  • 200 grams spinach You can use frozen if you wish.


  • Heat the oil and fry the onions over a medium heat until soft.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes more.
  • Stir in all the spices and cook for a moment until fragrant.
  • Stir in the lentils and coat well with the spices.
  • Add the coconut milk, chickpeas and one tin of water.
  • Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Simmer, stirring occasionally until your lentils are just cooked. You may need to add a splash more water.
  • Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted.
  • Serve immediately.


This dish is lovely for a vegetarian supper or as a side to curry.