Daily Dhal

Daily Dhal

By
From
Green Kitchen At Home
Serves
6
Photographer
David Frenkiel

This dhal was one of the first recipes I learnt to cook after moving into my own flat, and became something I made almost on a daily basis (alternated with quickcooked pasta and tomato sauce that all 18-year-old boys swear by). A friend born in Bangladesh taught me the recipe. I still remember being shocked by the insane amounts of spices he used and his secret trick to round off the flavour of the spices (stir an enormous chunk of butter into the warm soup before serving). My recipe has a more westernised dosage of spices and I have left out the butter to keep it vegan. If you are not vegan, however, I have to admit that one or two tablespoons of butter or ghee rounds off the flavours perfectly!

Fifteen years in, this is still a soup that we make very often. It is one of the most comforting meals we know – it tastes like a big hug – and the kids love it as well. David

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 onion, peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4-1/2 teaspoons chilli powder
3 low-starch or waxy potatoes, peeled
2 carrots, tops removed and peeled
200g red lentils, rinsed
1 litre vegetable stock
sea salt
3 tomatoes

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
1 apple
toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a medium-low heat. Finely chop the onion and garlic, add them to the pan along with the ginger and spices, and sauté for about 10 minutes or until the onion begins to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes and carrots into small cubes. Add them to the pan and sauté for a further 5 minutes. Add the lentils and stock to the pan and season to taste with salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked, stirring from time to time so the dhal doesn’t burn. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, finely dice and stir through the tomatoes.
  3. Core the apple and cut it into thin sticks. Serve the dhal topped with a sprinkling of the apple sticks, hazelnuts, seasoning and coriander.

Variations

  • Stir through a handful of spinach leaves towards the last minute of cooking.

    Add 1 tsp of ground cumin and 1 tsp of mustard seeds along with the other spices for a richer flavour.

Tip

  • For a nut-free alternative, replace the hazelnuts with toasted pumpkin seeds.
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