Lentil & Chickpea Dahl

 
Everyone who knows me is well aware of my love of all things spiced, or spicy. Because those are two very different things. I could say that a pumpkin pie or banana loaf was “spiced”, but that a curry is “spicy”. In spiced dishes we tend to forget the spices are even there- they just add that extra something. This curry brings spiced and spicy together perfectly, with chilli flakes and madras curry powder, but then some warming cinnamon and ginger. This dahl takes just under 30 minutes, start to finish. It is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, provides at least one of your ‘5 a day’, is definitely cheap to make (feel free to substitute the veg I used for what you have in as well- it’s great for using up what’s in the fridge), freezes well, and is pretty much fool proof…

 
Ingredients
  •  1/2 cup red split lentils
  • 1 can chickpeas (400g before being drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 large onion, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, colour of your choice (I used red), chopped
  • 2 larger tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 medium sized mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or crushed
  • 1/2tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp each of chilli flakes and garum masala
  • 2tsp madras curry powder
  • 1 large pinch of each: cinnamon, ginger
  • Black and white pepper, to taste
  • 3tsp vegetable gravy granules (this helps to thicken the consistency)
 
Method
  • Into a pan add some oil (approx.1tsp), or some spray oil (I opted for this), and bring to a medium-high heat. Add in the onion and garlic, lightly cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add a splash of water if they begin to stick (this is also a great trick for when you add the veg; it saves more oil going into the pan).
  • Now throw in all of the veggies. Lightly cook all of the vegetables; I did this for about 5 minutes, until almost tender.
  •  Begin adding the spices, cooking for 1/2 minutes more.
  • Add in all of the water and the lentils, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Finally, add in the chickpeas and heat through for 5 minutes. When you get into the final 1-2 minutes add the vegetable gravy granules. Fold these in carefully until completely dissolved to achieve the perfect dahl texture.
  • Serve with pitta or chapattis, or if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan my personal favourite is with a salmon fillet alongside. Enjoy!
 
 
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