Butternut dahl

Lonely Lentil’s favourite wonderful vibrant red split lentils are at the basis of this dish. In India dahl is a staple meal, due its nutritional value

and how wonderfully cheap it is make. My version is a bit more luxurious than traditional Indian dahl, featuring some coconut milk for creamy richness. I also keep my dahl on the thick side, whereas many traditional versions are almost soup-like in consistency.

The mild warming spice of this dish will be a hit with the whole family. It’s perfect for making in batches for taking for weekday work lunches or freezing in portions. I actually find that it tastes better after a day in the fridge and then reheating, as the spices have had time to mingle and intensify.

Don’t be afraid to add a teaspoon of our extra hot chilli powder too if you like your food hot n’spicy!

Lonely Lentil Dahl

Ingredients:

• 1-2 tsp Coconut/groundnut oil

• 1 onion, finely chopped

• 2cm piece of fresh ginger, chopped

• 1 heaped tsp fresh garlic, garlic powder or paste

• 1 heaped tsp ground cumin

• 1 heaped tsp groud coriander

• 2 heaped tsp curry powder

• ½ small/ 1/3 large butternut squash, diced

• ½ courgette, diced

• 200g red split lentils

• 100ml coconut milk

• 500ml vegetable stock, made with 2 tsp bouillon

• 1 tsp Maldon salt & black pepper, to taste

• 1 heaped tbsp. dried chives, plus extra 1 tbsp for sprinkling

• Juice of ½ lime

• Handful of pumpkin, hemp ad chia seeds for sprinkling…provides a lovely crunch! (optional)

• Handful of fresh coriander (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the chopped onion and gently fry until soft and turning translucent.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a further couple of minutes.
  3. Next add all the spices and give everything a good stir until the onion is evenly coated in the mix. Add the butternut and lentils and thoroughly stir again. Sauté for about 3 minutes before adding the courgette pieces.
  4. Now stir in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer.
  5. Add the salt and black pepper to the pan and leave the dahl to cook gently for about 20 minutes. Dahl can be very thick or some people prefer a thinner consistency… if it’s looking gloopy then you can add more water, stock or even more coconut milk for a creamier flavour (there are no rules here!).
  6. Finally, add the lime juice and chives (and coriander if using) and stir well.
  7. Sprinkle on the extra chives just before serving, and also the seeds if using.

Dahl can be served in various ways. We love to serve alongside fresh crunchy ice berg lettuce, mango chutney and pitta/poppadum/naan. Rice is also a classic accompaniment. This could also be served alongside another curry dish as part of a little Indian banquet… oh the possibilities!

Why not take it one step further and whip up some crispy curry chickpeas to serve on top of the dahl? Simply heat some coconut oil in a frying pan, add some drained tinned chickpeas and a teaspoon of curry powder, cumin, turmeric, garlic powder and Maldon salt (maybe some chilli!?) and fry for a few minutes until lobely and golden, crispy and fragrant! Toss in some pumpkin seeds for the last minute or so for an extra crunch and nutritious omega hit.

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