William’s Kid Friendly Curry Lentils

white plate with  peas and paneer cheese and curried lentils and a fork, bowl of peas and paneer in the  background

Do your children eat curry? My son loved all sorts of spicy food as a toddler, but as he got bigger, like many children, he got a bit more conservative in his eating habits. Rather than bribing or threatening, rewarding or cooking alternatives, we do something called division of responsability – we pick what goes on the table, including stuff he will eat, and he picks which bits he will eat. So, if we want to eat curry and he doesn’t like it, we will put rice, peas, and cheese, perhaps, on the table with it. If he doesn’t eat the curry, that’s his choice, but he can try it if he wants.

This approach, with no pressure, has made him more comfortable trying new things. He’s recently started liking mushy cooked lentils, which opens up the possibility of serving some sort of dal with our curries. This recipe isn’t an Indian dal recipe (in India dal just means pulse, eg beans and lentils). It’s a recipe for simple spiced lentils that’s designed to be a similar consistency to Indian restaurant Dal. This time William helped me cook it, and even chose the spices. You can find teh companion recipe, William’s peas and paneer, here.

Using a pressure cooker

I cooked this in an old fashioned pressure cooker. They’re great for beans and lentils as they cook them so quickly. I used setting 2 which is 12 oz of pressure. You could just as easily use an electic pressure cooker like the instant pot, or even a pan or slow cooker, though I haven’t tested the water quantities for these methods. For lentils you have to use ‘slow release’ and switch the hob off, then let the pressure release naturally. In the cook time below I’ve estimated how long it takes to come off pressure as this is part of the cooking time.

William’s Kid Friendly Curry Lentils
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins

A quick pressure cooker dal designed to be child friendly

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: British/Indian
Servings: 3 people approx
Calories: 111 kcal
  • 8 oz red split lentils
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 200 ml water
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  1. Weigh out the lentils and place them in the pressure cooker.

  2. Place the spices in the pressure cooker.

  3. Add the vegetable stock and freshly boiled water. (I use stock powder and a litre of water to make it up).

  4. Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and bring it up to 12oz pressure.

  5. When it's at pressure set a timer for 5 minutes.

  6. After 5 minutes switch the heat off so it releases the pressrue slowly.

  7. When it's no longer at pressure remove the lid, stir, and serve.

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