I make this dish often, using whatever tinned or jarred lentils I have to hand. The pouches work well too, and you can use puy, green, or brown. If you want to use dried split lentils (the little orange ones), just make sure you rinse them thoroughly first, and cook them in the broth until tender.
This dal is delicious straight up, but feel free to make it more substantial with extra veggies or crispy cauliflower, and adorn it with tasty things like pomegranate seeds, quick-pickled red cabbage or red onions, jalapeños and Greek-style yogurt.
I sometimes make the mixture a little looser by adding more stock, to make it soup-like, and stir through some greens, showing just how versatile this dish is. It’s really delicious the next day, too – so don’t throw away any leftovers!
2 tbsp light oil
1 onion, diced
2 star anise
5 cardamom pods, bashed
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp chilli flakes – Kashmiri or regular
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground garam masala
½ tsp ground fenugreek
Few dried curry leaves (optional)
¼ tsp asafoetida/hing (optional)
½ tsp amchur (optional)
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely grated
4 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tin full-fat coconut milk
600g lentils of choice, drained if needed.
250-500ml vegetable stock
Quick pickled red cabbage or onions
Crispy roasted cauliflower
Flatbread or naan
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