Makes 10 (smallish) portions
Daal is a wonderfully warming spiced comfort food. It’s cheap to make, this one is quick to prepare (and then you can just leave it to cook with little interference), it freezes well and is rich in fibre and protein, low calorie, gluten-free and vegan.
It’s versatility means it’s perfect on its own (although you may want a bigger portion!), great served with rice or parathas or as part of a thali (try it with my sweet potato and chickpea curry), and is also fab with a fried egg and poppadoms.
I make a big batch and then portion it up and freeze it, so once defrosted it can be quickly warmed up for a quick and easy, yet very satisfying meal.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 onions, medium dice
- 2 green chillies, roughly sliced
- 2 green chillies whole, pricked a few times with the point of a knife
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1 tbsp coriander (ground or seeds)
- 1 tbsp cumin (ground or seeds)
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- Small handful of curry leaves
- 500g yellow split peas, thoroughly rinsed in cold water
- 1.5-2l vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
Step 1: In a large pan heat the coconut oil on a medium heat. Add the onion and sliced chillies and then soften, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Add the garlic, ginger, whole pricked chillies, spices and curry leaves and stir for a minute or two.
Step 3: Add the rinsed yellow split peas and vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
Step 4: After 10 minutes a foam will have developed on the surface. Skim this off and then place a lid on the pan and lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
Step 5: Cook for about an hour (stirring every so often and adding more water if required), until the lentils are soft and tender. Then use a potato masher to crush them (you can remove the 2 whole chillies at this point, or leave them in for extra heat). If there is excess liquid you can leave the lid off and simmer for a further 15 minutes.
Step 6: Season to taste, remove from the heat and allow it to thicken slightly.
You could garnish this with fresh coriander, and/or freshly fried chillies and garlic. Delicious.