Back in 2010, I celebrated my 30th birthday by learning Vedic meditation on Bondi Beach with Gary Gorrow, who is now a good friend. Gary has been instrumental in dropping little seeds of knowledge all around me to grow. I wanted to include one of his recipes in this book (as with my other cookbooks). He shared this — one of his favourite dals, which originally came from a Rastafarian, hence the name. It captures the taste buds of all newbies to Ayurveda because it is absolutely delicious and tells a great story, which is that Ayurvedic food is not necessarily Indian, but rather food that adheres to the principles of Ayurveda. The only slightly questionable ingredients here are the mustard and the tinned coconut milk — you could swap the wholegrain mustard for 3⁄4 tablespoon of mustard seeds if you like, and use fresh coconut milk if you can find it.

Rasta Dahl.png

Find this recipe and 140 more in my book East by West, and meanwhile watch me cook this with Gary Barlow!



Serves 4

1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced, or a pinch of asafoetida
3cm (1¼ in) piece of fresh ginger, chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
½ tbsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of chilli powder
1 carrot, chopped
250g (scant 1 1/2 cups) red split lentils, rinsed
500ml (2 cups) water
1 x 400ml tin of full-fat coconut milk
4 fresh tomatoes, skinned and deseeded, very finely chopped
juice of 1 lime or lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh coriander leaves and toasted cashews to serve (optional)


  1. Melt the ghee and gently fry the onion until soft.
    Add the garlic, if using, and cook until soft. Add the ginger, cumin, mustard, turmeric, cinnamon and chilli and cook for 30 seconds. Add the asafoetida (if not using garlic), then the carrot, and stir through.

  2. Add the lentils, water and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20—30 minutes, lid on, but stirring from time to time, until the lentils are cooked.

  3. Add the tomatoes and cook for few more minutes until they are soft. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with coriander and toasted cashews on top, if you like.