This is your 'master dal' recipe – the one you can always rely on as your go-to, which can then be adapted however you like. A basic dal isn't meant to be heavily spiced: it's a creamy, comforting base to which you can add your own unique twists and choice of toppings. Think charred greens, spiced and roasted vegetables, or roasted tomatoes, as shown here.
You can also serve your delicious dal as a side dish to accompany my Tandoori Tofu Skewers, or stir through some spinach and top with turmeric-roasted cauliflower steaks.
For a more traditional addition, try making my Tarka, a mix of spices, fried in oil until sizzling and aromatic, and then folded through the creamy pulses just before serving. As this dal firms up overnight, the leftovers also make an awesome wrap or flatbread filling. Add a quick pickled red cabbage, mango chutney and fresh herbs for a winning lunch.
There are endless, heavenly possibilities with this dish, which is why I love it so much. Learn this one, simple recipe, and so many more possibilities will open up!
1 3/4 hours
250g yellow split lentils (chana dal)
½ tsp salt
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
½ heaped tsp turmeric
1-2 green chillis, split with a knife
Handful fresh coriander
For the roasted tomatoes
6-8 medium tomatoes, halved
¼ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp mustard seeds
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