My Best Red Lentil Dahl

Hello Dear Reader,

Over the years I have collected countless recipes for Dahl, there are so many varieties using all sorts of spices and ingredients. I like my Dahl to have heaps of flavour and texture so I invented this recipe using a mish mash of two different recipes, taking the best from both and combining it into one outstanding Dahl. It probably isn't very traditional but, boy, is it tasty!

My late In-laws weren't really a big fan of vegetarian dinners so this great little recipe hasn't been cooked as much in the last 10 years but I intend to make up for lost time. It is everything a vegetarian dinner should be, healthy, filling and really delicious. It makes the best leftovers too as the flavours just keep getting better and better. The recipe is easily doubled or halved depending how many people you are feeding and I think, hearty enough, to have as a stand alone dinner served with steamed rice and papadums. This quantity easily feeds 2 hungry adults with a few leftovers for lunches.

Ingredients for My Best Red Lentil Dahl, clockwise from top right-
100 grams spinach leaves, one can of coconut milk, 225 grams red lentils, thoroughly washed, 1 bunch of coriander, finely chopped, 1 tomato, finely chopped, 2 small onions, both finely chopped but kept separate, 2 garlic cloves and a thumb size piece of ginger, both grated on a microplane, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt. You can add two or three finely chopped chillies if you like (I used 3 birds eye chillies, finely chopped-not pictured)

Sauté one of the finely chopped onions with the chopped tomato and the grated garlic and ginger for about 5 minutes, on medium heat, don't let it take on any colour

Now add the chilli (if using) cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt and continue sautéing until fragrant

Now add the rinsed and drained lentils, stir to coat in the gorgeous spice mix

Now add 500 mls of water and the can of coconut milk

Mix well and bring to a gentle boil, pop the lid on, turn heat down to medium-low and let cook away for about 30 minute or until lentils have softened and cooked down

Meanwhile in a small saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of oil and add the cumin and black mustard seeds

When the seeds start to dance around, splutter and pop, add the other finely chopped onion

And sauté on medium heat 

Until onion is golden brown and jam-y. Set aside until needed

When the lentils have cooked down and thickened

Add the spinach leaves and let wilt down for a minute or two

Now add the spiced onion mixture and stir through 

Garnish with chopped coriander

Serve with papadums

Steamed rice and chutney

A wonderful spicy, warming, comforting dish and economical to boot. 

What is your favourite Dahl recipe and what other pulse or lentil do you use for your Dahl?

1 comment

  1. Thank you.....all written out in my recipe book, quite a bit more spicy than my favourite but sounds sooo good, can't wait to try.


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