Dahl is my ultimate comfort food. There are various ways to make it- when I spent a couple of weeks doing work experience with the amazing Hemsley sisters over the summer, I was lucky enough to try their favourite Mung Dahl (absolutely delicious – you can find it in their book, The Art of Eating Well). My favourite version is with lentils- I absolutely love red lentils, and the wonderful way they cook down to form a rich and creamy consistency. Lentils are also a fantastic source of vegan protein, as well as being naturally low in fat. The spices add a beautiful flavour and a powerful immunity boost, perfect for colder weather.
I look forward to nothing more on a wet and windy day (of which we see plenty, living in England) than a steaming bowl of this dahl. It’s a very quick and easy dish, and before you know it, you have an incredibly satisfying and nutritious meal in front of you. I’m also a big fan of batch cooking- I like to make the full recipe and then have plenty leftover, for breakfast (yes, I said breakfast), lunch or dinner throughout the week.
Note: If you’re vegan, simply use water or vegetable stock instead of bone broth, and coconut yoghurt (optional) to serve.
Makes approx. 6 servings
For the spice mix:
4 cardamom pods, seeds removed
1tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
2tsp fenugreek seeds
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ground coriander
For the dahl:
2tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 large sweet potatoes, chopped
Thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced or grated
500g red split lentils, rinsed
300g spinach, rinsed
1.3L bone broth or water
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh coriander, to serve
Fresh red chilli, chopped, to serve
Natural or coconut yoghurt, to serve (optional)
Chopped cherry tomatoes, to serve (optional)
1.) Mix all of the spices together and dry-fry in a saucepan over a medium heat for about 30 seconds until fragrant but not burnt.
2.) Add the coconut oil, onion, garlic and ginger and stir to coat in the spices. Sauté for 3 minutes.
3.) Add the sweet potatoes, bone broth or water and lentils. Season to taste. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat. Simmer for 18 minutes.
4.) A few minutes before the end, add the cashews to a frying pan and cook on a medium heat for a couple of minutes until golden and toasted.
5.) Take the dahl off the heat and stir in the spinach to wilt. Serve with the fresh coriander, chilli, cherry tomatoes, toasted cashews and yoghurt, if using.