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Recipe: The dahl in Mrs Krishnan’s Party

Recipe: The dahl in Mrs Krishnan’s Party

If you’re ever in the mood for a warm and hearty meal, Mrs Krishnan has your back. 

You may have heard that we cook live on stage in Mrs Krishnan’s Party. It’s true – and you’re invited to stay behind after the play to join us for a bite.

Dahl is a staple of South Asian cuisine. It’s quick and easy to make, and every household has its own recipe, so no two bowls will taste exactly the same.

In the same way, no two nights our show are exactly the same.

When you add live cooking to a party-within-a-play, you’ve got a recipe for an interesting night out. Kalyani Nagarajan (Mrs Krishnan) talks about improvising in another of our blog posts.

Here’s the recipe for the dahl we make on-stage, along with some answers to the most frequently asked questions about the show.

We’re used to cooking this for audiences of 100+, but we’ve peeled it back so that this recipe accommodates five (or a very hungry one).


1 cup red lentils
2 cups of water
1/4  tin canned tomatoes (or a chopped tomato)
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small white onion
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chilli flakes
Salt and pepper (to taste)


Add lentils, tomatoes and garlic to a pot of boiling water. Reduce to a simmer and cook until lentils are soft, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry the onions in vegetable oil until they are almost translucent. Add the garlic, turmeric, garam masala, and cumin and chilli flakes and fry for another minute or so.

When the dahl is cooked, add in the onion mix and stir.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

The final stir, before you switch off the stove and serve it still steaming hot.

Serve the dahl alongside rice or roti, or, if like us you can’t wait – eat it straight from the pot.


Do you really cook it live?

But there’s a back-up, ready-made dahl backstage, right?
Nope. What you see cooked in front of you is what you eat. That’s why no two nights taste the same.

Is the dahl gluten-free/dairy-free/vegetarian/vegan?

Should I skip dinner before the show?
Depends! We serve a hearty spoonful dahl along with rice, so everyone is guaranteed a taste – but it might not be a meal for you.

Hungry yet? Mrs Krishnan’s Party will be coming to Auckland and Tauranga in August. More information here.

Photography by Ankita Singh.

One response to “Recipe: The dahl in Mrs Krishnan’s Party”

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