Aromatic Lentils with Ginger

The second course of that traditional Bengali meal

A Bengali meal without lentils is incomplete. This dish tastes luxurious with the addition of a spoonful of ghee, but is also good without.



200 g split and hulled green gram (mung dal) – picked and rinsed

800 ml water

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp grated ginger

½ tsp turmeric

150 g tomato puree

1 dried red chilli (optional)

1 tsp oil

1 tsp ghee (optional)



  1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add mustard and chilli (if using).
  2. When the mustard starts to splutter, add ginger and stir fry for a few seconds. Don’t let it burn. Remove chilli at this point if you want.
  3. Add the water, lentils, salt and tomatoes.
  4. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until lentils are falling apart.
  5. Check seasoning and thickness and adjust to taste. Stir in the ghee and remove from heat. Serve with aubergine fritters (stay tuned for recipe).