Simply delicious dahl-ing: Indy Power's super comforting dahl
Take a comfort food, add It-ingredient turmeric and you have a dish that looks as good as it tastes
Dahl has got to be one of the most comforting dishes ever. Lentils are full of protein and fibre, and red ones are particularly great because they cook quickly, bursting and softening for that deliciously creamy dahl texture. I add flaked almonds to my tarka topping (see opposite page) for a bit of crunch and nuttiness - it's the best combination with the coconut and turmeric dahl.
Coconut & Turmeric Dahl
Dahl has got to be one of the most comforting dishes ever. Lentils are full of protein and fibre, and red ones are particularly great because they cook quickly, bursting and softening for that deliciously creamy dahl texture. I add flaked almonds to my tarka topping (see below) for a bit of crunch and nuttiness - it's the best combination with the coconut and turmeric dahl.
Serves 4. Gluten-free, dairy-free & vegan
400g red lentils
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Thumbsize piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp turmeric
1l of water
200ml coconut milk
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp crushed chilli
35g flaked almonds
Fresh coriander, to serve
Rinse and drain the lentils. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a medium saucepan on medium heat, add the onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric, and cook for about two minutes, stirring regularly.
Add in the lentils and cover with the water. Bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer for about 25 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes, until it has thickened to a porridge-like consistency. While it's simmering, add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a frying pan on medium heat. When it's hot, add in the cumin and mustard seeds, chilli and flaked almonds and cook for about 2 minutes, tossing regularly, until the mustard seeds start to pop and the almonds are golden.
Serve the dahl topped with the spices/almonds and a sprinkling of coriander.
WHAT IS TARKA?
Tarka is a method of seasoning whereby you add spices to hot oil, letting them sizzle to bring out the aroma and intensify the flavour. You can do it at the beginning of the recipe or at the end like I have. Personally, for dahl I love sprinkling the tarka on top so you really get a hit of flavour — and I like to add a little something extra, in this case flaked almonds, for some texture and crunch. You can get creative with it, sometimes I add coconut chips or seeds too.
THE LENTIL COLOUR CODE
I’ve started cooking lentils a lot more lately. They had slipped my mind for the last while but all it took was one deliciously prepared bite for them to be back on my radar and firmly back in my diet. They’re so versatile, tasting amazing in stews, curries, soups, and are gorgeous as a veggie alternative to meat, in dishes like bolognese. There are lots of different varieties and some are suited better to certain dishes than others: brown lentils usually take about 20-30 minutes to cook and hold their shape really well, I use these for bolognese. Green lentils take longer to cook, about 45 minutes, and also hold their shape really well — I use these for stews. Red lentils, like in this recipe, take about 30 minutes, and go nice and mushy so they’re great for soups and curries.
Lentils are great not just for their versatility, but also their nutritional value. They’re full of dietary fibre — containing much more than most other beans and legumes — which is important for promoting digestive health. They’re also packed with protein, so they’re perfect for anyone trying to up their protein intake. There’s about 18g per cup of cooked lentils. They’re also an excellent source of folate, which supports nervous system health, foetal development and brain health. And they contain lots of iron, too, which is key for energy production, muscle function and metabolism.