image For a very long time I hated lentils. They reminded me of boarding school in primary school where we ate yellow lentils (dal) almost each week with chapati. If you went to any typical Kenyan boarding school, I’m sure you are rolling your eyes at me thinking how vain I am if my boarding school trauma stories include chapati hehe . The boarding school I went to in primary was pretty decent and the food too was good. We ate cornflakes and oats for breakfast they even served us sausages once a week. For lunch and dinner we’d get chicken, chapatis, beef and once in a while we’d even have barbecues.  But with all that we thought the food was shit. We’d whine about how bad the food tasted, or how horrible the variety was. I was the “poor kid” in school so then rich kids would talk about how they had pizza every Friday in their homes and they’d all eat together as they listened to their 7 cd changer. LOL Gosh I’d look at these kids and wonder why pizza in our home was had maybe 3 times a year. What wrong did I ever do to God to deserve my parents, I used to wonder. Gosh “wana nì ta ùthongo we say in my tribe directly translated to “being childish is like being a white person” ( no pun intended ) in the olden days there were very few white people who were deemed to be delicate and unknowing  to our cultures. So being childish was like that. Anyway one of the horrid meals we used to have was Dal and chapati. I remember how yellow this dish used to be. I hated it. I could barely eat it most times and my friends and I would have rather steal the chapatis from the dining hall (food was not allowed outside or in the dorms) and go eat it in the dorm. Now here is where it gets interesting. What we’d eat the chapati with. No it wasn’t juice or the famous “mkorogo” (mixture made from  margarine, sugar and cocoa) it was far worse. We’d spread Aquafresh on the chapati and eat. Not any other toothpaste Aquafresh. And it was darn tasty. We’d do this week after week and we enjoyed it even more as time went by. Thinking of it now, that was the most disgusting thing ever. I wonder who discovered that combination anyway. Dal boiled in tomato juice would probably taste better now than a combination of Aquafresh and chapati. Anyway you can see what my hate for lentils pushed me to and so last year when the Mr asked me to make him Kamande I was like “who now? Me? Naaah aaah” then he insisted and I had to oblige.  I’m glad I did coz I discovered an amazing recipe. This recipe is super easy especially if you tend to store lots of boiled lentils in the freezer. The recipe is also versatile and works with legumes like beans and green grams too. Let me know what you think of it.

Happy cooking


Easy Kamande Curry (Brown Lentils/ Masoor Dal)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6


  1. 1 kg pre boiled Kamande
  2. 1 large onion, sliced
  3. 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  4. 1 teaspoon turmeric
  5. 1.5 teaspoon cumin
  6. 1 cup of coconut milk (more if desired or water)
  7. Juice of 1 lime or lemon
  8. 1 teaspoon garam masala
  9. Oil for frying
  10. Salt and pepper to taste


Put the oil and onions in a pot and let it cook till translucent. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant. About 2 minutes

add in the kamande, stiring well until completely combines. Add in the salt, pepper, turmeric and cumin. Cook for about 4 minutes then add in the coconut milk. Let this cook for 7 to 10 minutes till warmed through.

Stir in the lemon juice and dhania. Cook for 2 minutes. Finally stir in the garam masala. switch of the heat and let it sit covered for about 2 minutes. Serve with chapati or rice.

Happy Eating!

Kamande costs Ksh 300 per kg Coconut milk is 240 for 400 ml. Therefore Ksh 150 1 onion is Ksh 10 lemon Ksh 15 Ksh 15 for therest of the ingredients Total Ksh 490 Cost pp is Ksh 81 to Ksh 61

Written by Wangeci