Dal with lemon or lime curry

Dal with lemon or lime curry

By
From
Citrus
Serves
4
Photographer
Mowie Kay

I love this combination, not least because compartmentalising flavours as I’ve done here can be very useful when feeding a family – children not yet able to handle the hot and sour flavours of the lemon curry will be happy with the sweet and mild spices of the dal.

Giving the option of using lemons or limes for the curry pays lip service to the fact that very few people outside the US and the UK distinguish between them. Regardless, the results will be sour and you can make it as hot as you like.

Serve with basmati rice or with some paratha, with perhaps some lightly steamed greens on the side.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the dal

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
200g sweet potato or squash, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander stems, (save the leaves for serving)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A pinch ground cloves
300g mung beans
1 x 400ml coconut milk
500ml water
1 lemon or lime, juiced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
coriander leaves, to serve

Method

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole. Add the onion and sauté for several minutes until starting to soften. Add the sweet potato or squash, garlic and ginger, and cook for a few more minutes. Add the coriander stems and all the spices, then stir in the mung beans. Pour in the coconut milk and water, then bring to the boil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, until the mung beans are tender, keeping an eye on it as you don’t want it to get too dry. Before serving add the lemon or lime juice and sprinkle with coriander leaves.

For the lemon or lime curry

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 lemons
or 6 limes
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
a few curry leaves
1/2 fresh coconut, grated
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons kashmiri chilli powder
500ml water
1 tablespoon jaggery or soft light, brown sugar

Method

  1. Top and tail and lemons or limes, then cut (with peel) into 1cm dice. Put the lemons or limes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan or flameproof casserole. Add the whole spices with the curry leaves and fry until the mustard seeds start popping. Add the grated coconut and fry for a few minutes until it is looking lightly toasted, then add the onion, ginger and garlic. Continue to cook for a few minutes, then add the turmeric and chilli powder.
  3. Add the lemons or limes along with the water and the jaggery. Simmer until the lemons or limes are tender and the sauce is well reduced – it should retain its light, bright yellow. Add a splash more water if you think it needs it.
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