Daal is one of our favourite mid-week meals. The Indian-style lentil stew is a hearty and utterly delicious dish which is also a great vehicle for using up lingering vegetables.
Our pre-mixed blend contains seven spices, which ensures that the daal is super-speedy to make. Plus, all you need is lentils, an onion and half a lemon – the perfect store cupboard dish to deliver home-cooked comfort and nourishment.
200g red lentils, rinsed
2tbsp oil (coconut, sunflower or vegetable preferable)
1 onion, diced
2tsp ROOTED Daal Blend
½ lemon, juiced
To serve: Flatbread, fresh coriander (optional)
- Bring the water to the boil, add the lentils and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer – so that there is the occasional splutter. Cook, covered, for half an hour until the lentils reach a porridge-like consistency and can be mashed with a fork.
Note – don’t season with any salt at this point (only after cooking, if needed).
Note – for extra flavour, add a couple of whole (skinned) garlic cloves or a dried chilli to the cooking lentils.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a separate pan and fry the onion on a medium-low heat so that it softens, and starts to turn translucent. Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds, just enough so that they become aromatic.
- Take the pan off the heat. If the lentils are ready then stir the spiced onions straight in. Season with a squeeze of lemon juice and salt, and then serve with flatbreads.
NOTE – if the lentils still need cooking a little longer then stop the spiced onions from cooking by squeezing lemon juice over them, and set aside until the lentils are done.
NOTE – some daals are like a thick porridge, and others are thin like a soup. It's best to adjust the consistency at the end. Simmer with the lid off to thicken, or add a slosh more water to thin-out.
HOW TO FLAVOUR WITH VEGETABLES
Daal makes a great vehicle for vegetables. Decide which group they are in, and add them accordingly: 1) SLOW-COOKED VEGETABLES like butternut squash or sweet potatoes, which should be roughly diced, roasted until soft and added at the end. 2) FAST-COOKED VEGETABLES like fresh spinach, peas or kale, which can be added straight to the daal at the end, and will cook in the simmering lentils.
HOW TO FLAVOUR BY ‘TEMPERING’
‘Tempering’ is an Indian method, which uses whole spices to season a dish before serving.
Heat oil in a pan (4tbsp), so that it sizzles if a spice is dropped in it. We like to add a dried chilli, mustard seeds and whole coriander seeds, before pouring the flavoured oil (including the whole spices) over the daal and stirring it in.
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