Black Daal

Black Daal

I love to cook, but my ideal recipe is quick, easy, doesn’t require too many different vessels or appliances (‘cause there’s nothin’ I hate more than cleaning up!!), and doesn’t use more fat than is really necessary. This black daal recipe checks all those boxes ✅! While it has all the ingredients and flavors in traditional daal, the cooking method is not traditional, and I’ve cut back on the amount of ghee and cream because I felt that it was just as delicious without as much. The original recipe came from my Indian-cooking guru Veena. I hope I’ve made her proud 😉  

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Black Daal and Naan

  • Author: Emily
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes + 1-2 hours resting time for the dough
  • Yield: 6 pieces 1x


There are a few unusual ingredients in this daal, but you can find most at the supermarket, an Indian grocery store, or on Amazon. This serves about 5 – 6 and tastes even better on day 2. 




  • 250 grams of urid beans/daal (which you can find on Amazon or at an Indian grocery store)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger (26 grams)
  • 1 ½ dried Kashmiri chili
  • 200 grams canned tomatoes
  • 100 grams fresh tomatoes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½¾ teaspoon red chili powder (depending on your taste for spice)
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
  • Serve with yogurt and chopped fresh cilantro/coriander


  • 1.5 teaspoons of instant yeast 
  • 1 teaspoons sugar or honey
  • 150 ml (⅔ cup) lukewarm water
  • 2 ½ cups (312 grams) bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup yogurt (about 60 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) melted butter or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds (optional, but recommended)
  • 10 cloves of roasted garlic (optional – recipe follows)
  • A bit of olive oil to grease the resting bowl

Roasted Garlic

  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled and ends cut off
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • A sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper



  1. Place the dal and 4.5 cups water in a crockpot and set it on high for 10 hours. 
  2. After 8 hours, make the tomato mixture: Place the ghee/butter in a medium size pan on medium heat. After the pan heats up, add the ginger and cook stirring frequently for a minute or 2. Then add the garlic. Cook for another minute or 2 stirring to make sure nothing burns. Add in the canned and fresh tomatoes, salt, and all spices except for the fenugreek leaves. Cook down for about 15-20 minutes until most of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated. As the liquid evaporates, you’re going to want to stir it more and make sure it doesn’t stick or burn. When enough water has evaporated so that you can push the tomato mixture to the side of the pan and it doesn’t seep back over, you can move onto the next step.
  3. Push the tomato mixture to one side of the pan and place the fenugreek leaves on the side that’s cleared. Allow them to toast for 2 minutes. Then incorporate them into the tomato mixture. (Alternatively, you can toast them for 2  minutes in a separate pan.) Add the tomato mixture into the crockpot and allow it to cook for the remaining time. 
  4. Serve with basmati rice or naan.



  1. If using roasted garlic: preheat oven to 180C/355F. Place the garlic in the center of a medium sized piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold the foil around the garlic and seal tightly. Roast until the garlic is soft, about 30 minutes.  Allow it to cool in the foil for about 10 minutes. 
  2. For the naan: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and baking powder. Add in the water, yogurt, honey, melted butter/ghee, and nigella seeds and roasted garlic if using. Stir everything together with a fork or clean hands. When the dough has mostly come together, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 15 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place into a bowl greased with olive oil. Allow it to rest in a warm spot for an hour or 2 or until it has roughly doubled in size. 
  3. Place a pan (ideally cast iron) on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Allow the pan to heat up for a minute or 2 until it is super hot. Remove the dough from the bowl and cut into 6 equal pieces. Roll out each piece in a roughly oval shape to a thickness of about ½ cm (between ¼ and ⅛ inch) thickness. Very carefully place each piece in the pan and allow it to cook for about 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Remove from the pan and brush with some olive oil, ghee, or melted butter if desired. Place on a plate and put in an oven on low heat while you cook the remaining pieces.
  5. Serve immediately!


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