Red Lentil, Coconut & Lime Dhal

This is my own adaptation of one of my favourite comfort foods, the humble lentil dhal, made more sexy and substantial with the addition of a load of lovely veg. It goes great with plain basmati rice, a good leafy salad and maybe a chapati too. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients either, it’s only a few steps to actually pull it all together.

Serves 4-6.

  • 1 tbs oil for frying
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 200g carrot, diced
  • 200g potato, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 200g red lentils
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3cm knob fresh ginger, shredded / finely chopped
  • 2 tbs coriander seed
  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seed
  • 1 tsp onion seed
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 250g fresh tomatoes blitzed in 200ml water
  • 600ml water
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • A big handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Heat the oil over a medium-low heat and add the onion, carrot and celery. Fry for a few minutes, stirring regularly, then add the spuds and continue to fry for a few minutes more until the veg is just starting to soften. While it’s cooking, dry roast the coriander seeds in a pan then crush them in a pestle and mortar or spice mill.

Add the garlic, ginger, crushed coriander seed, cumin seed, mustard seed, onion seed, chili flakes and turmeric powder to the veg mix and stirfry for another couple of minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and water, mix in the lentils and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and gently boil for 10 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, cover again and then simmer for another 30 minutes until the lentils are soft (if it all starts getting a bit thick, just add a bit more water). Stir in the lime juice, coriander and salt to taste and you’re good to go.

Dhal

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