Eating dahl invokes memories of my days living in Singapore, where this was a regular breakfast dish for me on the way to work (consumed out of a small plastic bag with a roti!).
This dahl recipe is full of healthy legumes and aromatic spices, and is jam-packed with nutrient-filled vegetables. Dahl is the generic term for prepared legumes, which includes split peas, lentils and dried beans. However, the star of this dish is the grated cauliflower, which is smothered with the creamy but flavoursome mix, adding contrast in texture with its slight crunch.
Cauliflower is high in vitamin C, so with the change of season upon us, it’s a great time to be eating it. Enjoy this ultimate comfort food.
PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 25 mins
SERVES: 6 people
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups split peas (I usually use toor or masoor)
2 onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
4 tablespoons of ghee or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric(or 1 tablespoon freshly grated)
1 can chopped tomatoes (or use 4 freshly-peeled if you prefer)
3 cups chicken stock (vegans and vegetarians can use vegetable stock)
2 courgettes, grated
1/2 cauliflower, grated
3 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 fresh red chilli, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 good handful of coriander, chopped
1.Heat the oil in a large pot to a medium heat. Tip in the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes without browning. Then add the ginger and garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
2.Tip in cumin and turmeric and stir until fragrant. You may need to add a little more oil here.
3.Add the split peas and combine thoroughly, then tip in the stock.
4.Bring to a simmer, then add the grated cauliflower. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the split peas are starting to soften and it’s getting thick and creamy.
5.Add the courgette, chilli and spinach and cook for a further 5 or so minutes, until the split peas are cooked through. The precise timing will depend on the pulse you are using. Pour in the lemon juice then taste at this point – the vegetables will release some liquid so you may need to add a little salt.
6.Pour into a bowl and sprinkle with chopped coriander.
7.Serve with poppadoms, roti or rice, or as a side with a curry.
Note:For meat lovers out there, simply take 1-2 free-range chicken breasts, chop into bite-sized pieces and put into the pot when you pop in the stock.