My friend Emily has come home from India. In the mother of all romantic stories she met a Indian boy and moved there 5 years ago. Now married, with two beautiful brown skinned babies, we don't see her very often. But this week she came home and I'm going to cook her my version of her favourite thing; dahl.
This recipe is taken from my book.
SWEET POTATO & COCONUT DHAL
Whoever said lentils were bland? With the addition of just a few delicate spices this recipe makes for a beautifully aromatic and chunky dhal: a delicious accompaniment for a curry or a simple lunch to take to the office. Be sure to transform yours with a generous spoonful of Greek yogurt and some torn coriander; after all, even a simple dhal deserves to be dressed for the table.
PREP TIME 15 MINUTES
(plus OVE RNIGHT SOAKING)
SERV ES 6 (SIDE) OR 4 (MAIN) COO K TIME 1 hour
200g yellow split peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
400ml coconut milk
300g sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
150ml vegetable stock
3 tablespoons chopped coriander
2 tablespoons whole almonds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Cover the split peas with cold water and leave to soak overnight. The following morning, drain, rinse and set aside.
2 Heat the olive oil in a deep, flameproof casserole. Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes until beginning to caramelise. Add the chilli flakes, garam masala, turmeric, cumin and chopped ginger to the pot and cook for another minute to soften the ginger.
3 Add the coconut milk, split peas, diced sweet potatoes, chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock. Season well, cover and simmer for 1 hour until the dhal is deliciously thick and the lentils are falling apart. Top up with more stock if you think the dahl is becoming dry. Serve with the chopped coriander and whole almonds.