Take a few simple ingredients, add a little heat and a little time and a whole evening of satisfied fullness will follow. Dhal is rapidly becoming one of my go-to meals when it’s cold outside and I’m lacking inspiration – after eating it I wonder why the hell we don’t have it every night. I have over twenty different dhal recipes in my notebook, they are all amazing but this is one I made the other night and it’s my current favourite – until I make the next one…
By the way, this is a very low-calorie meal – around 200 calories or so per serving. You’ll be amazed at how full you feel.
RECIPE – serves 2
1/2 tsp rapeseed oil
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
75g red lentils
600ml vegetable stock or water
a few good handfuls of baby leaf spinach
fresh coriander, leaves and stalks chopped separately
in a small bowl, add a little water to the ground turmeric and cumin to make a paste, set aside for now.
Put a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat and brown the onion for 5-10 minutes until well coloured, then add the chilli flakes and black mustard seeds and fry for a further 15 seconds before adding the turmeric and cumin paste with the garlic. Cook on for a further 30 seconds or so then add the lentils and tinned tomatoes. Stir in the vegetable stock (or water) and the chopped coriander stalks. Bring to the boil before reducing to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes to an hour until the lentils are soft (depending on the age of your lentils). Add more water if necessary to prevent sticking.
Season, then add the spinach and allow it to wilt into the sauce. Scatter over the chopped coriander leaves and serve alongside Basmati rice and an onion salad.