A little savoury to tantalise your tastebuds today. This is my take on a traditional Indian Dhal, with Cape Malay and Thai influences. The Coconut cream gives a subtle hint of sweetness to this dish, while the chilli and spices gives it a kick. Serve this delicious lentil curry with steaming fragrant Jasmine rice, and add Paneer for an added protein boost to a vegetarian diet.
I really love these little pulses as they are high in fibre, low in calories, and full of good protein. They are easy to cook and are crazy cheap. There are many types of lentils , but I have used green lentils in this dish. It will take you about 45 minutes to cook and the green lentils are great for curries and rich stews, as they retain their shape well when cooked, and look fantastic too. Unlike the red and yellow ones that tend to lose their shape, but make a delicious mushy meal which is ideal for traditional dhals. So depending on your likes you can use whichever lentil you prefer, although I highly recommend the green ones. Make sure to soak your lentils for an hour before cooking to soften them and to clean any grit from them.
I don’t freeze many foods, but this is one recipe that is better the next day and freezes particularly well. Lets face facts, there is nothing better than finding a great meal in your freezer on a Sunday night when you have no enthusiasm for cooking at the end of a weekend.
I honestly can’t get enough of this dish as it satisfies my curry cravings and is fabulous for a meat free meal.
- 1½ cups green lentils
- 1 large onion, chopped fine
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 heaped teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 2 tomatoes , chopped ( I like to use 2 from a tin as they are already skinned and ready to chop)
- 2 cardamon pods
- 1 or 2 chilies (depending on how hot you like it)
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 star anise
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (of your choice)
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon tumeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups of water + extra if lentils absorb this amount
- 1 tin coconut cream
- dhania (coriander/cilantro) leaves chopped
- Jasmine or Basmati rice
- Soak the lentils for 1 hour, making sure to remove any grit.
- In a large pot saute the chopped onion in the coconut oil.
- When soft add the crushed garlic and grated ginger together with the star anise, cardomon pods and cinnamon stick.
- Add the rest of the spices and the two chopped tomatoes Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the drained lentils and stir to combine.
- Add 2 cups of water and half the coconut milk. Simmer gently until the lentils are soft adding more water if all the water is absorbed.
- Ten minutes before serving add the rest of the coconut cream.
- Top with chopped dhania (coriander)
- Serve on a bed of Jasmine or Basmati Rice