Spiced lentil dhal

67saves
1hr20min


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About this recipe: Potato and cauliflower are a favourite combination for curry and they are delicious cooked with lentils in a mildly spiced sauce. Served with a fresh carrot chutney and fruit and nut raita, this healthy meal will be relished by meat-eaters as well as vegetarians. Serve with basmati rice or naan bread.

Norma MacMillan

Ingredients
Serves: 4 

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1–2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 2 tbsp mild curry paste
  • 170 g (6 oz) red lentils
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400 g (14 oz) small new potatoes, halved
  • 1 small cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, skinned and quartered
  • 225 g (8 oz) baby spinach leaves
  • generous handful of fresh coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Carrot and coriander chutney
  • 3 carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1 green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Banana and almond raita
  • 2 firm bananas
  • 280 g (10 oz) plain low-fat yogurt
  • 55 g (2 oz) flaked almonds, toasted

Method
Prep:25min  ›  Cook:55min  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and stir for a further 2 minutes over a gentle heat.
  2. Stir in the lentils, cumin, turmeric, salt and 1 litre (1 3/4 pints) water. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes, then add the cauliflower and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the pepper and tomatoes, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the side dishes. Mix together the carrots, chilli, lime juice and coriander for the chutney. Transfer to a serving dish. For the raita, slice the bananas into a serving bowl. Stir in the yogurt and sprinkle with the almonds.
  4. Stir the spinach into the curry and cook for 2 minutes or until just wilted. Stir in the coriander and serve, with the chutney and raita.

Some more ideas

The vegetables can be varied according to whatever is available or preferred. For example, try chunks of courgette and aubergine with, or instead of, the cauliflower, or small whole okra or cut green beans with the tomatoes. * Additional pulses can be added. Black-eyed beans and chickpeas are particularly good. If using dried pulses, soak them overnight, then drain and cook them in boiling water for 45–60 minutes or until almost tender before adding them to the curry. Canned pulses, well drained, should be added towards the end of the cooking time.

Plus points

This curry is full of vegetables. Together with the lentils they provide valuable dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. * Vegetables play a protective role in fighting degenerative diseases and this recipe shows that eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily can be easy and exciting. * Uncooked accompaniments and salads boost the vitamin content of a meal as well as providing a variety of complementary textures and flavours.

Each serving provides

A, B6, C, E, folate, iron, phosphorus * B1, calcium, copper, potassium, zinc * B2

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