How to Make a Traditional Pakistani Daal

November 6, 2020

There is a common misconception that Pakistani food needs to be spicy, oily and made with an abundance of meat, however the country’s cuisine is actually far more versatile than a lot of people realise. In fact, Pakistani cuisine has a rich history that has paved the way for a variety of mild and/or vegetarian dishes to take centre stage. One of these is daal, a soup or stew made from simmered pulses like lentils, split-peas and beans. Read on as we explain how to make your own Pakistani daal the traditional way…

Indian vs Pakistani Flavours

Although daal is often seen as an Indian delicacy, it is important to remember that there are distinct differences between the two countries when it comes the spices that are used and the ingredients that are incorporated into the final dish. After all, Indian cuisine tends to be spicier in comparison to Pakistani cuisine, however there is a more varied vegetarian palette on offer in India which is why daal can differ considerably depending on the country it is made in.

The Method

The process of cooking daal is a lot simpler than many people realise, however it does require a certain amount of skill to master the dish with the authenticity of a traditional Pakistani chef. Nevertheless, you should start by heating a pan of water until it begins to boil and then add your chosen lentils to the pot, allowing them to boil for 1 minute before reducing the heat to a subtle simmer. Once the lentils start to break down and resemble a thick paste, you can then begin to add further ingredients like onions and ginger to the dish, frying it until it becomes soft.

Next you will want to implement spices in order to flavour your daal and many Pakistani chefs tend to opt for curry powder, chilli powder, cumin and coriander as well as a dash of salt and pepper before sautéing for around 3 minutes. At the final stage of the cooking process, add a tin of chopped tomatoes for a tangy and savoury flavour profile, sauté for 5 more minutes and then cook for an additional 20 minutes before serving as is or with an accompaniment like basmati rice.

There is nothing more satisfying than the taste of a traditional dish that could’ve been made by chefs in its country of origin. After all, it takes a lot of skill to prepare and cook an authentic Pakistani daal. As the best restaurant London has to offer, our team put every ounce of care in each dish that we prepare in order to provide our diners with familiar flavours that will leave them coming back for more.