Tomato, coriander and ginger dhal with panch phoran tomatoes

Tomato dhal topped with yoghurt and panch phoran roasted tomatoes.
Tomato dhal topped with yoghurt and panch phoran roasted tomatoes. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Think tomato, coriander and ginger soup meets Ottolenghi's hot tomatoes, cold yoghurt. Combining the two with yellow split peas is as comforting as a hug from your best friend.


⅓ cup flavourless oil

1 heaped tbsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed using a mortar and pestle

15 curry leaves

8cm knob of ginger, grated

1 heaped tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1½ tsp salt

2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1½ cups yellow split peas, rinsed thoroughly

½ cup coconut cream (optional)

Slow-roasted tomatoes

400g cherry tomatoes on the vine

1 tbsp flavourless oil

2 tbsp panch phoran spice blend (I used Herbies)

10 curry leaves

To serve

½ cup to ¾ cup cooked rice per person

1 cup natural yoghurt

¼ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped (optional)


1. Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the base. Add the cumin seeds and curry leaves and allow to sizzle for 20 seconds. Add the ginger and stir well.

2. Reduce the heat to medium and add ground coriander, cayenne and salt. Stir and saute for about five minutes. Add tomatoes and stock, stir to combine then add the split peas.

3. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent catching. (If too much liquid has evaporated and the dhal is looking too thick, add a dash more water or stock.)

4. About halfway through the dhal's cooking time, preheat the oven to 170C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the tomatoes on the paper, drizzle over the oil and the panch phoran spice blend and gently massage to coat the tomatoes. Roast in the oven and for 25 minutes or until blistered and slightly shrunken. When the tomatoes seem almost done, add the curry leaves to the tray for the last five or so minutes of cooking so that they crisp up.

5. Once the lentils are cooked, stir through the coconut cream (if using). To serve, add rice to bowls and top with the dhal. Season, dollop over the yoghurt and top with tomatoes and any oil from the roasting tray, curry leaves and chopped coriander (if using). Serve warm.

More dhal recipes

Find more of Katrina Meynink's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

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