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Christin Urso / Spoon

The Daal Recipe Tan France Says You Need to Have

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utah chapter.

Christin Urso / Spoon
A couple of weeks ago Tan France, an absolute legend, posted an IGTV straight from his kitchen. He shows his followers how to make Daal, a basic lentil curry that can act as the base for many other curries. Like many of you, I enjoy a good Indian curry but I’ve honestly been too intimidated to make one. For some reason, they seem so complicated to make, yet I have no real evidence or research to back that up. In his mini cooking video, he proves me wrong. Daal is an extremely easy curry to make, and with all of this extra time on our hands in quarantine there’s no better time to learn! 

I’m going to show you the recipe Tan France gave for his daal, with slight modifications that I made.  


  • 2 cups lentils (Tan used 3 cups, but I could not fit 3 in my pan. You can also use any lentils you want in this recipe.) 

  • 5 cups water (2.5 cups for every 1 cup lentils) 

  • 1- 1.5 tsp coriander powder 

  • 1-1.5 tsp garam masala 

  • 1-1.5 tsp cumin 

  • 1-1.5 tsp chili powder (increase for the amount of spice you desire) 

  • 0.75 tsp turmeric 

  • 3 tsp salt  

  • Chopped cilantro 

  • ½ stick butter 

  • 4 cloves garlic crushed (increase or decrease according to your preference) 


  1. Boil water in a saute pan and add lentils and seasonings. 

  1. Bring to a light simmer and cover. Cook on low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour. It’s important that you let the lentils cook slowly, or else they won’t cook properly.  

  1. As your mixture thickens, make sure to mix it so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. If you notice that the lentils aren’t yet incorporated and there isn’t any water on top, feel free to add another half a cup of water. Just remember that whenever you add water, you need to make sure that it cooks for at least another 15 minutes.  

  1. As the cook time nears 45 minutes, check on the consistency. After 45 minutes, if the consistency isn’t ideal (ie, still not fully incorporated, like a normal curry), bring up the heat to medium. Tan gives a helpful tip for this step: leave the lid half on, so that it catches any spattering, because it will spatter. 

  1. Keep stirring, observing the consistency. When it’s almost thick enough, add the chopped cilantro. 

  1. Saute the butter and garlic until the garlic is browned. Add the mixture to the curry and mix together.  

  1. When the curry is at the desired consistency, remove it from heat. It’s ready to serve with whatever you planned on eating it with.  

Rice and naan are great ways to serve this daal, but there’s no reason not to get creative with your meals. Because this is more of a base, you can build on it in various ways, whether you choose to keep it traditional or try something different. No matter how you want to serve it, this is one of the best things you will learn how to make. Be sure to keep it in your recipe arsenal so that you can make the most of your meal time in quarantine! 


Junior studying Journalism and International Studies
Her Campus Utah Chapter Contributor