…with spinach (or chard!) and cashew & coriander topping
This fragrant dahl, has a fresh feeling that means it is as well suited on a summer eve as a winter night, perhaps with a seasonal twist: in autumn or winter you could leave out the fresh tomatoes and replace with some grated squash for the last 10 minutes of cooking. A great way to join in with Veganary, the annual January movement that encourages us all to increase our plant based foods, & perhaps keep that trend beyond the traditional month of ‘resolutions’!
A perfect vegetarian / vegan / wheat & dairy free side dish, or, if cooked down a little longer, an inspired dip to serve with summer drinks in the evening or crusty bread at lunch.
For the dhal:
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped (de-seeded if you like)
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped (de-seeded if you like)
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- The seeds from 6 cardamom pods, ground
- 200g dried split red lentils, washed
- 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 100g baby spinach, washed
- 4 ripe vine tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 unwaxed lemons
- 16 fresh curry leaves (optional)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
For the topping:
- 100g toasted cashew nuts
- 1 green chilli (de-seeded if you like)
- ½ unwaxed lemon
- A small bunch of coriander
- Heat the coconut oil in a deep saucepan and fry the onions over a medium heat with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes, stirring regularly until they start to soften.
- Add the chillies and cook for another couple of minutes until everything in the pan is soft and fragrant.
- Add the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds and when the mustard seeds start to pop, stir in the ground turmeric and cardamom.
- Add rinsed lentils, coconut milk & stock. Bring the dhal to the boil, then turn the heat down to gently simmer.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes until the lentils have softened and are cooked through.
- Now make the herb & cashew topping: Roughly chop the cashews & green chilli, and the whole lemon half, (having removed pips).
- Add the coriander and chop the all ingredients together with a good pinch of salt to make a rough lemon salsa.
- Back to the dhal: stir through the roughly chopped spinach and chopped tomatoes
- Wilt spinach (or chard) a little, then taste it and add the juice of up to 2 lemons, depending on your preference.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If you are using the curry leaves, melt about a teaspoon of coconut oil in a frying pan and when the surface is shimmering, fry the leaves for about 15 seconds to crisp up.
To serve, spoon the dhal into bowls, top with the curry leaves & cashews, and serve with rice or warm roti breads.
Waste Not –
- This is a perfect way to use up over wintered home grown chard leaves, or the last bit of cabbage – simply tear or shred leaves and add towards the end of cooking time.
- Recipe originally from Anna Jones’ One Pot, Pan, Planet; a greener way to cook. Delicious recipes for now and the future – eating for health and sustainability – an emphasis on ‘no waste, fresh food and health for the planet and for oneself’.