Dahl With Wild Spices

I have always loved dahl. Its deeply warming and satisfying, and comes in so many variations.

This dahl with wild spices recipe uses hedgerow seeds to make a truly heavenly dish.

Even though I am blowing my own trumpet, I have to say this simple dahl recipe surpassed even my expectations.

We have some truly divine wild spices in our hedgerows!

Over the Autumn I collected rock samphire, wild fennel, wild mustard and alexanders seeds, combined them with some dried pine needle shoots (think rosemary) and a little turmeric and you have a dahl recipe mix that will have your tongue slapping about wanting more.

Wild Spices Recipes Part 1: Dahl Mix

  • 2 medium onions (finely chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 fresh red chili (chopped, seeds & all)
  • 1 cup of dried red lentils
  • 2½ cups of water

Wild Spices Recipes Part 2: Wild Spice Mix

  • ½ tsp rock samphire seeds (ground)
  • ¼ tsp wild fennel seeds (ground)
  • ½ tsp alexanders seeds (ground)
  • ½ tsp wild mustard seeds (ground)
  • ½ tsp dried pine shoots (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt & pepper

Grind and mix together all the spices into a course powder. Use as instructed below.

Wild Spices Recipes Instructions

  1. Fry onions until translucent, then add the Wild Spice mix along with the garlic, red pepper, red chili and continue frying until the onion starts to brown.
  2. Add the lentils, stir quickly to coat them in the mixture, then add 2 cups of water.
  3. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer until the lentils have dissolved into a thick sauce. You may need more water, so keep an eye on the dahl.
  4. Serve on its own or with rice or chapati or bread.


  1. Hi Robin just made this xcellent really warming dish which is the perfect foragers food for this time of the year.
    It gave me also a chance to use some Alexander seeds as I have a large jar waiting for the opportunity like this to pop up as on there own I havery been put off by the bitter after taste ,this has not occurred at all in this dish. Did not have any Samphire seeds will look out for them in the future.
    One thing that crossed my mind with this dish being a fellow forager is that we all work closely with the ancient understanding of the natural cycles and the more experienced we become the stronger the experience of this we start to engage of being part of these cycles. So this dish gave me this question as a perfect foragers food for a day like this keeping you well insulated inside what during this cycle we are in would be the dish to forage for this evenings meal? Using this meal to keep you warm on the cycle of gathering the next. It’s just an interesting hunter gatherer intuition. Thanks for a great meal today Mitch.

  2. Hi Robin, Thanks for the Dahl recipies, what a difference it makes adding the wild spices, and just the thing for a winter cold day’s lunch. I love to read your emails, and am trying out as many of your recipes as I can.

  3. U’ve inspired me with this recipe to get out foraging a lot more next year for these wild ingredients! Will mark my diary thruout the year in readiness to harvest them.! Thanku sooo much will look forward to next winter..yum!

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