The world seems like a strange place at the moment so now may be the perfect time to stay in and hunker down with friends and family, with a bowl of delicious and nourishing Coconut Dahl. This dish is so easy and warming, containing such a wonderful mix of textures, that I’m sure it will bring a satisfied smile to everyone’s faces.
I must admit I followed this recipe from Hello Fresh with a large dose of scepticism but was extremely – and happily – delighted by the resulting meal. This serves 2 or 3 people:
Firstly, dice a butternut squash and place on a baking tray with some olive oil, a liberal sprinkling of curry powder and some salt and pepper. Give it a shake to spread out the spices then pop in a 200c oven for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. (I always set the timer coz I’m never going to know by smell…!)
Next, you’ll need a couple of large tomatoes (cut into chunks) and a red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped). Heat a little oil in a pan then add the tomato, some curry powder and the chilli – as much as you dare…! Cook for a minute then add about 400ml of water, a veggie stock cube (or bouillon), 200ml of coconut milk and 200g of red split lentils. Stir and simmer the mixture for about 20 minutes or so. The lentils need to soften completely.
The next bit is really clever. (I wish I could claim the credit!) You’ll need a sliced onion and a little bit of flour then just fry the onions with the flour and some salt and pepper. After a couple or three minutes they’ll go lovely and crispy. Take them out of the pan – if they’re a bit oily, let them rest on some kitchen paper.
Your daal should be nice and thick by now! Chuck in some roughly chopped coriander then serves in bowls with the roasted squash and the onions layered on top, followed by a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds. You could accompany this with a warm naan bread for proper mopping up.
The combination of creamy coconut and nutty lentils with the unexpected pleasure of melt-in-your-mouth squash, topped with the bitter onion and crunchy pumpkin seeds is such a joy. It also has a bit of a kick which, as we know, can transform our eating experience completely. It’s a beautiful colour mix too! I really think it’s worth having a go. Let me know how you get on!
Stay healthy and safe everyone.