Creamy Red Lentil Dhal
On a cold winter’s evening you simply cannot beat a warming bowl of dhal… dukkah is an essential flavour hack here. Always serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil. Strangely, I love dhal used as a dressing or souce in combniation with roasted vegetables… this might sound weird but many times I’ve roasted the random few veggies left in the fridge draw, heated up some dhal and poured it over the top in a warmed bowl… that and a sprinkle of dukkah is pretty dreamy.
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 brown onion
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic
1 red chilli / 0.5 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1.5 teaspoons curry powder
1.5 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground fenurgreek, optional
240g split red lentils
1 teaspoon flakey sea salt
500ml veg stock
1 tin organic chopped tomatoes
1 tin coconut milk
Soak the lentils in cold water for 1 hour.
Finely dice the onion, celery and chilli, and crush the garlic.
Gently heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish. Sauté the onions etc for 12 mins until soft and translucent.
In a small frying pan, dry toast the spices on a very gentle heat for 2 mins. Dry toasting spices before incorporating into a recipe helps to fully release their flavour. (If you’re using a combination of whole and ground spices toast these separately. Crush any whole spiced in a pestle and mortar if needs be.)
Add the spices to saucepan.
Drain the lentils and rinse very well under running water. Add to the saucepan.
Add salt, veg stock, chopped tomatoes and coconut milk.
Have the lid ‘half on half off’, and simmer gently for 45-60 mins, until fully soft and thick; most of the liquid content will be absorbed by the lentils.
Stir often to make sure the base doesn’t catch.
Once cooked allow the dhal to rest for a few minutes.
Add freshly chopped coriander.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, dukka, and a fresh squeeze of lemon. All ferments go very well too… particularly curried turmeric sauerkraut coming soon!
Dhal will last in a Tupperware in the fridge for 5 days (reheat thoroughly) and will happily freeze for 4 months.