Dahl is one of the most widely eaten dishes in the world – well, in India anyway! A delicious, smooth, lentil-based curry that melts in your mouth, it’s like a hug on a cold day and is super comforting.
Takes 30 mins
Feeds 4 people
1 tbsp olive oil
500g red split lentils
1 red onions
3 cloves of garlic
1⁄2 a thumb-size piece of ginger
4 medium tomatoes (ideally nice and ripe) or else 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 tin of coconut milk (400g)
1 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tbsp medium curry powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1.8 litres veg stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
a small bunch of fresh coriander (10g)
Serve with: Brown rice
Peel and finely slice the onions, garlic and ginger. Cut the courgette into bite-size pieces and roughly chop the tomatoes.
Heat a large pot (approx 5L in size) on high heat, once hot add the oil and the chopped onions and ginger and fry for 5 minutes. When the onions are starting to brown around the edges, add the courgette, chopped tomatoes, garlic and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cover the pan with the lid and cook gently over a medium heat for 5–10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the lentils, spices, soy sauce, lime juice, and veg stock, and coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce to a low heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until you are happy with the texture of the dahl. The red lentils will have started to break down and go almost creamy in appearance. The longer you leave it simmer for the thicker the sauce will become. Stir regularly, as lentils have a tendency to stick. Season with salt and pepper to your taste or add more lime juice to add acidity to cut through the lentils.
Finely chop the coriander and sprinkle over the dahl. Serve with long grain rice. Mango chutney is also a nice accompaniment.
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