Ginger or Zanjafeel (which means yellow elephant in Afghanistan) is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.

As autumn sets in, we thought this month would be the perfect time to share this Afghan recipe for dal, flavoured with fresh ginger it's great at fighting off colds and flu.  

Ingredients - Serves 4

225 g moong dal

1 medium onion, chopped

1-2 cloves of garlic

3 tbs vegetable oil

1 1/2 tbsp minced fresh ginger

½ tsp turmeric

1-2 tsp tomato puree

Salt and pepper


Wash dal in cold water, drain, and then put into a pan with enough water to cover it by about 5cm. Bring to the boil. Remove any surface scum, then cover (but leave the lid slightly ajar), turn the heat to low and simmer for about half an hour. Stir often to prevent sticking.

Fry the chopped onion and half of the crushed garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil until lightly browned. Add the ginger, turmeric, and tomato puree. Stir and fry for a minute or two. Now add these ingredients to the dal, together with more water so the level is 2.5cm above the dal. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer until the water has evaporated and the dal is well cooked; thick but runny. This takes about an hour.

Just before serving fry the remaining garlic in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and pour over the dal. 

Serve with warm naans. 

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