Red Lentil Dahl

  Dahl, dal, daal or dhal? No matter how you spell it, I’m sure you’re going to love this recipe.

Dahl is a traditional Indian lentil curry, which counts with as many variations as ways to spell it. Every household has its favourite and I cannot think of a more magical and nutritious meal than this one: high in fibre, almost fat free, full of good protein, substantial and ludicrously cheap!

This recipe was inspired by The Happy Pear, two Irish brothers who share their love for vegan food on Youtube. One of their most common dishes is Dahl and it had been a long time since I wanted to cook it. Looking around my kitchen I managed to find some red lentils, as well as a bunch of veggies that will otherwise go off, so there was no question about what I’d be cooking.

What do we need?

  • 1 cup of red lentils (around 200g)
  • 1 leek
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 courgette
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 1/4 green pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 aubergine
  • A few cauliflower florets
  • 1 lime
  • Spices of your choice: turmeric, curry powder, cumin, ground coriander, cinnamon

Let’s get cooking!

First, we need to thoroughly wash our vegetables and cut them: start by finely chopping the leek and garlic. The rest of the vegetables can be cut in bite-size pieces. Before we start cooking, we need to place the aubergine in a bowl and cover it with water, to get rid of the bitterness.

Place the the leek and garlic in a large pan alongside some olive oil. Gently fry over medium heat and, when it looks a bit translucent, add in the peppers and carrot. After a couple of minutes, you can add in the courgette and aubergine (please discard the water we have been soaking it in). Allow enough time for the vegetables to cook and soften a bit.

Add in your spices and fry for a few seconds. I used just the above-listed, but you can adjust to your own taste and even include some chillies if you like it spicy.

At this point we will add the lentils to the pot, as well as the cauliflower florets and enough water to cover the vegetables completely. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, until the lentils are almost cooked. Only then can we add the tomatoes and the lime juice to the concoction. Given their acidity, if we had added them before, they would have prevented the lentils from cooking properly. Let the mixture cook for another 3 or 4 minutes before serving.

And voilà, here you have it!

1 thought on “Red Lentil Dahl”

  1. Most Indians spell it “daal”. But you’re right, there are many ways to do so. And that’s certainly an unusual recipe – I’ve never seen it prepared that way!


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