An Indian feast. Dahl, paratha, raita

The time has come! The first full-on-dinner dish on this website. I decided to add the recipe for Indian Dahl because it’s probably my favorite comfort food. Based on lentils, easy to make, a satisfying and filling meal. For me, the most important are the sides here, cause they are giving the possibility to mix all the flavors and textures. Today I would love to recommend the option with loose jasmine rice, a refreshing yoghurt-cucumber based salad (raita) and my favorite Indian pan-fried flatbreads, known as parathas. That kind of meal is perfect for sharing and celebrating an evening with friends.

Indian multilayered flatbreads: parathas! (ingredients for 10 flatbreads)

From what I learned, traditionally, these are breakfast flatbreads, served with herb-seasoned yoghurt. They are great for all types of curries, you can tear them to pieces and scoop the sauces with them. The recipe is Indian, but I had to travel to Australia to discover it. Last year, as I was helping in the kitchen in a yoga retreat centre in the area of Sydney, one day, a great chef, Vijay from India, showed me the technique of their preparation. I was fascinated with the processes of rolling, folding and rolling again. I didn’t expect that the result would be such a delicious flatbread, whose power used in its multilayered structure. Previously I knew them only from Indian restaurants, but now I can prepare my parathas at home while thinking of my days back in NSW, Australia.

  • 2 cups of wheat flour (wholegrain or spelt works too)
  • 3/4 cup of hot water
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

additional flour and oil for rolling out the dough

  1. Combine the ingredients in a bowl, knead an elastic ball of dough
  2. Divide into 10 or 12 smaller dough balls
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball in the shape of uneven, oval rectangle/circle
  4. Now the coolest part: grease the rolled out dough (use your hands or a special brush for spreading oil); fold it in half, spread the oil again, fold it in half one more time. Put this multi-layered piece of dough aside and repeat the process with all the other rolled pieces of dough
  5. And now … even more fun with rolling! Roll out each prepared flatbread 1 mm or 2 mm thin, combining the multilayered structure into a flat piece of dough again. Set aside, lightly sprinkled with flour. Ok, we are done with rolling. Believe me, it’s worth it!
  6. Put the first flatbread on a hot pan (with a drop of oil on it), fry till you see bubbles appearing on the surface (parts of it should be beautifully brown), then flip it and fry for another minute
  7. Usually, I prepare parathas in two pans at the same time, so the whole process is faster. Ready parathas are best when fresh and warm, but don’t worry: they also taste good straight from the toaster

Refreshing cucumber raita

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 flat teaspoon of salt
  • A handful of cut coriander or mint (the mix of both will also work)
  • Three large spoons of plant-based yoghurt (I highly recommend the skyr style)
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Pepper


  1. Grate the cucumber with the skin on, add salt, mix and leave for at least 5 minutes in a bowl
  2. Drain the cucumber pulp using a strainer or just with your hands (save the salty cucumber juice. I always drink it: so refreshing!)
  3. Mix the drained cucumber with the other ingredients
  4. Cool before serving

Favorite lentil dahl

You can find probably more than a million Dahl recipes on the internet. The differences between them are usually the spices and their proportions. Using this recipe, you can try my favorite spices mix, based on the many Dahls I have tried so far. In a slightly simpler version, you can replace dry spices with 4 teaspoons of a curry mix spice. The recipe is for 4 dinner portions. However, I recommend doubling this recipe and having it for the next few days. It’s also amazing as a spread for bread.

  • 1 glass of raw red or yellow lentils (250ml)
  • 1 flat teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 piece of ginger (at least the size of 2 cloves of garlic)
  • 1 piece of chilli pepper (the size of a clove of garlic) / large pinch of dried chilli
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 full teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 can of coconut milk (400ml; choose one with a high content of coconut, use the thick part of milk only)
  • salt (I use 2 flat tsp)

Serve with: coriander leaves / thinly chopped green celery – for crispiness / additional slices of fresh chilli

  1. Cook lentil with turmeric powder in two glasses of water, for about 13/15 minutes (use a larger pot)
  2. In the meantime, cut the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli into small pieces
  3. Heat some vegetable oil in a pan, add the onion and fry it for 5 minutes. Then add garlic, chilli and ginger, fry for another 2 minutes. Finally, add the dry spices mix and fry it all together for the last minute (note: dry spices can be easily burned if fried for too long or when the temperature is too high! You will get the bitter taste in result. Low heat and one minute should be perfect)
  4. Transfer the fried veggies with spices into a pot with the cooked lentils. Mix and then add salt and coconut milk. Cook on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until the lentisl begin to fall apart and the whole dish turns into a well combined, thick sauce
  5. READY! The time for a feast has come. Please remember to garnish your portion with plenty of coriander (sending love to all coriander haters! There are two options for you guys: skip it or simply start loving it).

Of course, the above recipes can also be prepared separately: rice with Dahl is already a full meal; parathas with yoghurt sauce is a good snack too (maybe an Indian-style breakfast?). For a fuller experience, it is worth trying the full-on option. And believe me, the best is to force your friends to help you – both with the preps and the feasting.