Red lentil dhal


I know, I know, it's spring, so why on earth am I posting a Dhal recipe. The truth is I'm like Old Mother Hubbard this week and when the fridge is bare I have to turn to my trusty pulses and spices - no bad thing I'm sure you'll agree. I've been making this recipe regularly as a homage to one pot meals that are quick, effortless and pack a flavour punch.

Making the most of my store cupboard essentials, the last white onion and a bag of past its prime spinach, I set to work. The result is a warm and comforting bowl of goodness with heat from the ginger and spices and wonderful colour that only turmeric can achieve.

Now I'd best get over to the market or we'll have turned yellow from living off this dhal for too long.

Ingredients, serves 4
250g red lentils
400ml tin of coconut milk
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 white onion
1 large sweet potato
3 large handfuls of baby spinach
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
1 heaped tsp garam masala
1 heaped tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
5 cm piece of fresh ginger
1 chili
4 cloves of garlic
500ml vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Juice of half a lemon

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan (one with a lid) on a medium heat. Finely chop the onion and add to the pan. Finely chop the garlic and chilli and add to the pan with the onion. Grate the ginger and add in with the cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and paprika. Give everything a stir to combine.

Peel and roughly dice the sweet potato into thumb size pieces, not making the chucks too small and add this to the pan. Allow the sweet potato to cook for a few minutes before pouring in the lentils, tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well and bring the pan to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and place a lid on the pan. Cook on a low-medium heat for about 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are cooked and the sweet potato is soft.

Remove the lid and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Throw in three large handfuls of baby spinach and gently stir this through the dhal.

Serve and enjoy.