Flavors of the World: Dahl

flavors of the world

Food is something most people are quite passionate about. And whether you prefer to cook or to eat, the best feeling is when you can eat with the people you care most about. That’s why today, we will share an authentic recipe for Hindu-Surinamese Dahl that you can eat with all your friends and family. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or an omnivore, this dish can be altered to suit any diet. And it’s not only absolutely delicious, but healthy too! So, invite all your friends and family over for a lovely bowl of rice with fragrant dahl: a curry made with red split lentils.  



  • Olive oil
  • 1 White onion
  • 4 Cloves of garlic
  • 2 Cups or 380 grams of red split lentils
  • 1 Vegetable stock cube (or chicken)
  • 2 Cups or 300 grams of rice
  • Paprika powder
  • Curry Masala powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 eggs (optional)

Fish or Chicken (Optional)

  • 2 Pieces of garlic
  • 1 White onion
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Teaspoons of tomato paste
  • 3-4 Pieces of chicken or cod fillet
  • 2 Tablespoons of curry powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of paprika powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Let’s Make Dahl!

First, rinse the lentils with water to make sure there is no dirt left on them. Once the lentils have been washed thoroughly, put them in a pan and add water until the lentils are submerged. Then, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim any foam that rises to the surface and add the stock cube before covering the pot. Let the lentils simmer for 20-30 minutes, stir occasionally and add water if the lentils cook dry or become too thick.

In the meantime, cook your rice according to the instructions on the packet and boil the eggs if you wish to eat these with the dahl. The optional side dishes can also be made while we wait for the lentils to fall apart. So, if you would like a piece of fish or chicken with your meal, please follow the steps under ‘Fish or Chicken’.


Flavors of the world

Time to check on your lentils! By now they should have fallen apart and be quite liquid in consistency . Add water and stir if necessary. Also add the curry masala powder, paprika powder and salt and pepper to taste. You can use store-bought masala powder or make it yourself if the powder is not available at your supermarket. Make sure you save your spice mix in someplace dark and cool, such as in this eye-catching brass cannister.

Grab a skillet and heat some oil, add finely chopped onion and garlic and sauté until they reach a dark brown color. You can do this over high heat, but make sure to closely watch the onion and garlic so they don’t go black.

Once the onion and garlic are dark brown add it to the dahl and immediately close the lid. Let the aroma’s soak into the dahl for a minute, then remove the lid and stir.

Serve the dahl and rice in a nice bowl for your guests. Or why not take a bit of work off your hands? With some gorgeous serving spoons your guests won’t mind serving themselves. Besides, now they can scoop up however much they like.

Prepare the Protein

Mix together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of curry masala powder, 1 tablespoon of paprika powder and add salt and pepper to taste. Then, take the mixture and marinate the cod fillet or diced chicken and set aside. After this, finely chop an onion and some garlic. Next, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet and, once the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Stir around until the onion is translucent and then add 4 teaspoons of tomato paste. Continue to mix the paste with the onion and add a small layer of water. Finally, add the marinated fish or chicken and cover the skillet to let the fish or chicken steam until done.

We’d love to see how much you enjoyed making this yummy, healthy meal! So, share your experience with us by tagging @discovered or use #idiscovered on Facebook and Instagram!