Split Black Lentil Curry, Onion & Garlic Free

Split black lentils, also called “Chilkewali Urad Dal” in Hindi cooks to a creamy flavoured mass with a slightly sticky texture. A great source of fibre and trace minerals, these pretty lentils are easy to cook and digest.  Boiling and tempering this dal with simple spices such as cumin, ginger, asafoetida and turmeric make for a quick dish that comes together quickly in a pressure cooker. The longest step of this recipe is pre-soaking the dal for at least an hour before cooking. Optional additions to this scrumptious Daal are, diced tomato pieces, minced fresh coriander and green chillies. Tastes great with rice, flatbread or, even a quick salad. Happy cooking!

Chilkewali Urad Daal/ Split Black Lentils

(A quick and flavour some Daal recipe using split black lentils.)


Split Black Lentils – 1 cup
Oil – 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh Ginger Root, minced finely – 1 teaspoon
Water – 2.5 cups
Salt, to taste
Tomato, diced – 1 cup for garnishing (Optional, but tastes really good)


Wash the split black lentils and soak for 1 hour. Rinse well until the water runs clear and drain before cooking.
In a deep pan (pressure cooker pot) heat the oil and coat the base.
Add in asafoetida powder and roast for a minute.
Toss in the cumin seeds and cook until golden.
Mix in turmeric and the minced ginger and cook for a few minutes until the raw smell goes away.
Stir the drained split black lentils and coat in the above mixture.
Add water and mix well.
Season with salt and cover the pot. Bring to a boil and cook on full pressure for 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from the heat and cool the pan.
Dice the tomato if using to add to the Daal.


Serve warm, garnished with Coriander if desired. I used diced tomato pieces as garnishing which tasted delicious.
Tastes great with rice, bread or, by the itself with some salad.


I am an enthusiastic plant based home cook and baker who delights in sharing my creations on unsuspecting non vegans, when they least expect it! When not recipe developing, testing or making, I’m found organising and/ or writing, the two other passions of my life ❤️