Pakistani Easy Daal Recipe from Yousef - Karachi Pakistan

My parents lived in Karachi, Pakistan for six years. I fortunately managed to visit them in Pakistan at least six times over those years.

This is a recipe I gleaned from Yousef, the cook of the initial guest house they stayed in before they moved to their own accommodation. It’s the simplest and tastiest recipe I know.

I have made a couple of changes but it is still delicious and always used for guests on retreat, and my children in winter and when they are ill. It’s a definite addition to the Autumn/ Winter recipe store. This quantity, with rice would feed four. I use 1 cup of rice for 3-4 people depending on child or adult!!!


  • Cup of well soaked and rinsed split red lentils

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (Yousef would use ghee)

  • 1 onion super finely chopped

  • lots of garlic (I would go for 4-6 cloves) personal preference

  • thumb sized chunk of ginger peeled and left whole, make some slices in each side and throw into pot with everything else scoop out before serving

  • teaspoon salt, ideally natural sea salt or mountain salt

  • optional teaspoon tumeric and garnish with black pepper or fresh coriander

To make the Dahl

  1. Soak well and rinse lentils.

  2. Lightly fry onion and garlic in coconut oil or ghee, throw in soaked and rinsed lentils and saute them for at least five minutes. Add ginger chunk and salt. This is also the time to add tumeric (I find if I add tumeric to this dahl my children refuse it, without tumeric - all good!!!)

  3. Keep on low heat, or keep stirring for about 5 mins.

  4. Then add two - three cups of water, it depends how soupy you want your dahl. Again - personal preference.

  5. Let simmer for approx 30 minutes, if greater quantity maybe more time needed

  6. When dahl starts to thicken on bottom layer and thinner on top, turn heat off. Stir and serve with rice, or re-heat later.

  7. My favourite is with basmati rice and loads of black pepper on top, maybe a scoop of greek yogurt. YUM.

As with everything in the integrated heath and well being world there are always differing opinions. I remember hearing years ago that lentils and rice formed a complete protein…. a few articles below to support, question and contradict. We really encourage you to explore, experience and find out for yourself what works. Personal health and optimal well being is very individual. Nourish in Nature wants to encourage and inspire you to find your own path to your own health and well being. We support empowerment through self knowledge.