Lovely and comforting Lentil Dal with pork loin

The last couple of weeks the weather has been amazing and I am quite sure it has been the warmest days of the year! I woke up this morning and much to my surprise the whole town was covered in sea mist, apparently more common at this time of the year than hot and sunny days. I have had some time off, it seems I needed a little time to get back to myself after leaving work but now I feel ready again and my head is buzzing with ideas!


The mist was quite thick and I couldn’t resist getting my camera and go for a walk on the pier.





I got about half way down the pier when I looked around the the town had completely disappeared, it was a little like being in a film noir.




It wasn’t cold but the weather made me think of a curry. After some deliberation with myself I decided to make a Lentil Dal. I never really thought about cooking Indian foods before as we used to live near a great curry house, Minar Tandoori, there just wasn’t any need! I haven’t found anything that is even close to Minar Tandoori here so I decided to start cooking Indian foods myself. Today I felt like some warming Lentil Dal, it seemed easy and straight forward enough.


I roasted a squash, I just gave it a drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt before roasting it in the oven at 200C or 390F for 30 minutes.




I read a few Lentil Dal recipes and this one seemed very appealing. I did make some changes and I didn’t have time to make garam masala but it worked without it.


Another version of Lentil Dal

preparation time 5 minutes 

cooking time 15-20 minutes 

serves 4


  • 2 dl or 1 cup Mung Dal lentils
  • 6 dl or 3 cups of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • fresh ginger
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt to taste
  • coriander for garnish

Peel and cut the ginger fine julienne. place the ginger, bay leaves, lentils and the cinnamon stick in a pan.





Add the water a boil for 12 minutes. Measure up the spices and chop the onion fine.




Whilst the lentils were cooking I trimmed a pork loin before adding salt and pepper and browning it in a frying pan.




I mixed yogurt with hot sauce and some chopped hazelnuts and brushed the pork loin before placing it in the oven with the roasting quash for 12 minutes. I added the left over mix to the frying pan.







For the Lentil Dal spice mix, melt the butter in a frying pan and add the chopped onion. Fry for a few minutes and then add the spices, the garlic and the chopped chilli.




When the lentils are soft remove the bay leaves and the cinnamon stick before adding them to the spice mix. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the lemon juice and salt to taste. Add the coriander just before serving. I served some in chicory leaves, the bitter taste worked really well with the soft dal.




The hazelnuts added flavor and texture and the hot sauce gave a nice kick.





Last I made a quick cucumber raita from low fat yogurt.




It was my first Lentil Dal and I was very pleased with the result, it had a subtle but distinct flavor but I will add more water next time. I am absolutely sure it would be even better with lashings of melting butter added last minute but I didn’t have the heart to do it, especially as I am trying to cook healthier food.


I am bringing this to the brilliant Angie’s food fest, Fiesta Friday! Angie is joined by this weeks co hosts, the lovely Selma, Selma’s Table, a versatile and very talented blogger with some delicious sounding recipes. She is also joined by Elaine, foodbod, I am n0t much for sweets and cakes but her Florentines sure makes me wish I was there to grab one! Or I will have to make some myself!


18 Responses to “Lovely and comforting Lentil Dal with pork loin”
  1. Hi Petra, your first lentil dal looks fab, I know what you mean about the butter though! And thank you for your kind words, I don’t eat sweets and desserts either so I think you’ll like my goodness Florentines, come on over and try one 🙂
    Great to see you at the party, thank you for bringing your dish to this weeks Fiesta Friday 🙂

  2. Petra I love your recipes and how you so thoughtfully pair the food. The dal sounds amazing and serving with the pork loin and squash makes a great meal. Really like that the dal was served in Belgian Endive. Crisp and delicious.

  3. What a delicious dish and something I have never made. I especially like all of the seasonings in the Dal and the dishes you served with it – a complete meal 🙂

  4. Lori says:

    I would love to try this! Wow!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Lori

      I am glad you like it, I will be making it again! It was a perfect instead of mash potatoes and truly comforting 🙂

  5. andy says:

    the Indian me is so happy to see this lentil post 😀 and it does look fabulous !!! 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hi Andy

      I bought a big bag of lentils and this is by far my favorite recipe! I will be making it again and I love the flavor the spices added 🙂

      • andy says:

        Lentils are the major source of protein in regular Indian diet, where majority are vegetarian Hindus 🙂 So for us, it is an everyday affair and we cook it in innumerable ways. Seeing you posting lentil made me feel so good…:)
        have a great week ahead !!!

        • petra08 says:

          hi Andy
          Wow, that is great, I know so little about Indian food but have bought more Indian influenced spices and will cook more lentils and other Indian foods as well! I find the vegetarian options amazing, 🙂 Have a great week as well! x

  6. Mandi says:

    I really like the combination of the pork, squash and lentils – I think it’s super comforting and actually pretty healthy. I sympathise with your temptation for lashings of butter but I bet it was really nice this way anyway 🙂 I tend to only keep soy spread in the house which, after a very short amount of time, you get used to and it really does replicate the taste of butter with a fraction of the calories (and most of the flavour haha!)

    Thanks for sharing, looks awesome! Happy FF 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hi Mandi
      Oh I have never thought of using soy spread! I use mashed avocado on my bread instead of butter most days but will try soy spread, off to the health shop tomorrow to see if I can find some 🙂 Thanks for the tip 🙂
      The meal was quite healthy and light and I haven’t eaten pork loin in ages, it is a very lean cut and it cooked quite quickly 🙂 Happy FF!

  7. I love those moody and dramatic photos! They make me want a curry too- something spice filled and saucy to cuddle up with. Your Lentil Dal looks like it hit the spot!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Lina
      Thank you 🙂 It was amazing, the sea mist just coated everything and made it looks a bit mysterious! It was a great day to test the Lentil Dal 🙂

  8. Nancy says:

    Delicious looking meal, Petra!

  9. I loved your photos! Your Dal looks delicious!

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