Smoky black bean dal

Based on 11 ratings

Ruby Goss

Senior Food Editor at Kitchen Stories

“This recipe is my approximation of Dishoom's house black dal using what I had on hand in my pantry. Instead of urad dal lentils, I used canned black beans (which makes the recipe faster to cook) and instead of cream, I opted for coconut milk. Not only is this recipe made entirely from pantry ingredients, it's vegan, gluten and lactose free, so it's a surefire people-pleaser—and let me tell you, the taste is more than good too! Serves 4 with basmati rice as a side—and as always, some pickled red onions would not go astray. #stayhomekeepcooking”


Easy 👌


800 g canned black beans
25 g ginger
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp garam masala
1½ tsp smoked paprika powder
1 tsp chili flakes
80 g tomato paste
450 ml water
bay leaf
100 ml coconut milk
cilantro (for serving)
  • Step 1/3

    • 25 g ginger
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 800 g canned black beans
    • 1 tbsp garam masala
    • 1½ tsp smoked paprika powder
    • 1 tsp chili flakes

    Finely grate ginger and garlic, or pulse into a paste in a mortar and pestle. Drain black beans. Heat coconut oil in a pot over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and fry, until soft and very fragrant, approx. 3 min. Add garam masala, chilli flakes, and smoked paprika powder. Fry for 1 minute to bloom the spices.

  • Step 2/3

    • 80 g tomato paste
    • 450 ml water

    Add tomato paste and continue to fry until slightly caramelised, approx. 3 min. Add black beans, bay leaf and 400 ml water. Season with salt.Bring to a boil and let simmer on medium low heat for approx 15 min., or until beans are soft.

  • Step 3/3

    • 100 ml coconut milk

    Remove approx. 1 cup of the mixture and add to a measuring cup. Pulse with an immersion blender until smooth and stir back into the pot. Alternatively, mash approx 1/4 of the mixture with a fork to thicken the sauce. Add coconut milk, stir thought and cook for approx. 2 min. more. Serve with rice and garnish with cilantro and toasted coconut flakes. Enjoy!