Chai Pani Daal

Prep time 10mins
cook time 40mins

This recipe comes from Chef Meherwan Irani. Daal is a daily staple in India, high in iron and protein, and flavoured with spiced oil, known as tadka. It is a simple, quick meal that can be served with a side of steamed rice.



  • 1 cup yellow lentils
  • 1 cup pink lentils
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup fresh tomato, diced
  • 4 cups water


  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 2 red chilli (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, diced
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • ¼ cup oil



  1. Combine both lentils in a Dutch Oven and rinse 5-6 times, until water runs clear. Drain and add 4 cups of water, tomatoes and onions. 
  2. Salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until lentils have completely broken down and are fully cooked, around 20-30 minutes. If the mixture seems too thick, add water.
  3. Heat oil in a small cast iron skillet until nearly smoking. Add mustard seeds and allow them to pop for a few seconds, then, add cumin and red chilli. Let sputter for a few more seconds.
  4. Immediately add the garlic and ginger. Cook until slightly brown. Add turmeric and cook for 30 seconds. 
  5. Pour tadka into cooked daal. Allow to cook for a few additional minutes. Check for salt and consistency. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve on its own or over rice. The grilled naan bread is also an option as an accompaniment.