Really good Dahl and Raja Monkey Review

I love curry! And for me one of the best things about living in Birmingham is the vast array of amazing Indian restaurants on my doorstep.

My absolute favourite is Raja Monkey, which in my option is the best Indian restaurants in Birmingham, the concept is Indian street food and its certainly not your average Indian restaurant.

It’s not a vegetarian restaurant but there are lots of veggie options and their amazing Thali’s can be vegan on request. The atmosphere is laid back and informal and there are always lots of regulars  (I think we are now definitely regulars as a ‘bottle of chardonnay’ appears without us actually ordering it!)

Raja Monkey’s Dosa’s are amazing! I have been searching good Dosa’s for years (my love for the Dosa started when I spent 3 months in southern India and had Masala Dosa’s for breakfast everyday).

However it’s really all about their Thali’s which are truly delicious. Each little pot of food is amazing and uniquely and distinctly flavoured.

I love this dahl, it’s as close as I’ve ever got to replicating an authentic restaurant taste, its great with chickpea curry and buckwheat flatbreads.

Ive used the easiest and fastest lentil to cook – red split lentils, with creamy coconut – absolutely delicious. Then topped with fresh mint and cucumber dip and a fresh salad. Just perfect.

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  2 servings
  5 minutes preparation time
  1 hour cook time


For the dal

  • 1 cup of red lentils rinsed
  • 700ml water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut yogurt or cream
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut 

For the tarka

  • 1 red onion chopped finely
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves grated

For the mint dip

  • 1/2 Cucumber grated 
  • 1/2 cup/120g coconut yogurt 
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh mint 
  • Juice 1/2 lemon 
  • 1 clove garlic minced 
  • 1/2 tsp sea Salt 
  • Twist black Pepper 
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin Olive oil – optional 

For the salad

  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
  • Handful coriander roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch chill flakes
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Squeeze lemon juice



  1. Add the lentils to a medium saucepan with 700ml of water. Bring to the boil and skim off the froth and add the turmeric. Reduce to a low heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Next add the chopped tomatoes, coriander, salt and cayenne. Simmer for another 10 minutes, then stir and turn off the heat. Now stir in the coconut yogurt and dessicated coconut.  
  3. Heat the oil in a small frying pan (high heat). Add the mustard seeds and cumin. When the seeds pop, add the onion. Fry until the onion is soft and brown. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute.
  4. Add half the mix to the lentils and stir in (I like to keep the other half as a topping).

To make the mint dip

  1. Grate the cucumber and pop it into a large seize to drain over a bowl. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible then transfer to a large bowl 
  2. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.
  3. Really nice with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

To make the salad

  1. Chop and mix the ingredients 

To serve 

  1. Top the dal with the remaining tarka, Dollop on the mint dip, top with the the salad and scoop up with flatbreads.

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Recipe Tags: Lentils curry raja monkey


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