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  • Serves 6-8

  • 1 hour (+ soaking time)

  • Easy

  • 2 cups of split channa/chickpea (soak in cold water for one hour prior)

  • 2 or 3 courgettes, chopped into 2cm pieces

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 2 tsp black cumin seeds

  • couple of pinches of asafoetida

  • 2 fresh or dried large red chillies, finely chopped

  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped

  • 3 tsp of sambhar masala powder (use garam masala as alternative)

  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped

  • handful of fresh coriander

  • 2-3 tbsp pomace or veg oil

I love courgettes. So much so, I've blogged quite a few recipes over the years (on my old site here). This recipe is one of my favourites, as it's very easy and makes a great midweek supper. The tempering is only gently spiced, and has more of a fragrant cumin hit than chilli, so it's a very child friendly dish (and you can adjust any chilli heat accordingly).

You can buy ready made sambhar masala spice mix from any good Indian or Pakistani grocers (and there's a great recipe in my Vegan Street Food book, along with other fabulous dal recipes I came across on my travels in Asia). Or you can simply substitute with garam masala powder, which is readily available in any major supermarket or well stocked grocers. I serve this with a soft flat bread such as chapati or roti and some steamed basmati rice. I had a dollop of hot pickle on the side with mine too.


  1. Put half of the prepped onion into a heavy bottomed pan with 1/2 tbsp of oil. Saute until softened, then add courgettes, turmeric, salt and drained channa. Cover with water and bring to boil. Simmer for 1-2 hours until channa is soft (but not mushy and falling apart). Add more water as dal cooks to maintain a soup like consistency.
  2. In a small pan, add the rest of the oil with the remaining onion and fry gently for about five minutes until softened and translucent.
  3. Then add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Fry for a further minute or two, then add fresh or dried chillies, tomatoes and sambhar masala powder, and cook until tomatoes are completely soft and the oil has separated.
  4. Pour tempering mixture over the cooked dal and stir well. Serve scattered with fresh coriander.
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