British Dal Festival

By Nick Saltmarsh, Co-founder and Managing Director of Hodmedod


We’re thrilled to be planning our second British Dal Festival, and this year we’re calling for eateries across the country to get involved in the ‘Dal Trail’ which we want to span the country!

The enthusiasm and support for the first ever British Dal Festival went way beyond our already high hopes, so we’ve decided to take the festival national, keeping Bristol as the festival’s epicentre. We’re seeing businesses across the UK sign up this year and we hope even more will join us!

Our aim for 2019 is to celebrate the cultural richness, flavour, versatility and affordability of dal as well as the health, nutrition and environmental benefits of pulses, at events across the country.

The festival kicks off on Sunday 10th February 2019, which is expected to be the first ever United Nations World Pulse Day in recognition of the contribution pulses make to health, nutrition, food security, biodiversity and combatting climate change.

So, what is a ‘Dal Trail?’ It’s a nationwide celebration of pulses that sees eateries shine a spotlight on all that is wonderful about split peas, lentils, fava beans and more. By designing a dish that focuses on pulses, participating businesses will benefit from PR and social media support to publicise their involvement as well as 20% off Hodemedod’s products for their first order.

Also, it’s worth noting, that participants don’t have to create a version of the traditional dishes from the Indian subcontinent, they can celebrate with a signature dish involving pulses. Last year the ingredient’s versatility was showcased in dishes from a fava bean falafel from Poco, the award-winning, ethically focused café and restaurant to Pieminister tweaking its signature mushy peas.

Going beyond indulging in delicious dishes; the festival puts pulses at the forefront of peoples’ minds. Touted as a sustainable way of reducing worldwide meat consumption, pulses are a protein-rich, nutrient-dense option.

In 2018, we saw 38 eateries in Bristol taking part in the Dal Trail. They each included a curated pulse dish in their menu.

Participating eateries included renowned Indian restaurant, Nutmeg; the award-winning, ethically focused café and restaurant, Poco; sustainable Indian restaurant chain, Thali; popular brunch spot Bakers & Co; pie joint, Pieminister; and critically acclaimed harbourside restaurant, BOX-E.

We spoke to head chef and owner of BOX-E Elliott Lidstone who said:

“I loved diners’ willingness to try any dal dish because it was on the trail, especially those who went from place to place until they were completely dal-ed out! For us, it was also a great opportunity to showcase Hodmedod’s UK grown lentils – a crop that’s really making waves in food sustainability.”

If you’d like to take part in the festival, please complete the online application form at – the deadline for expressing interest in taking part in the festival is Friday 7th December 2018.


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