Well, It’s officially winter! Like official, official. As in you can no longer feel your hands and toes in the mornings. There’s ice on the car windscreens, and you know what that means…. Time to bring all those hearty winter warmer dishes out of the archives and to the spotlight. Salads be gone. Dhals, curries, and stews have got it from here, thanks.
Probably my favourite thing about winter living in Melbourne is the food. Haha, who am I kidding, regardless of the season it’s always the food. But what I mean to say is that here in Melbourne and most of Australia, during winter there is no snow to get excited about, all we are left with is food and football. I’ll take a pass on the latter and just go warm up the oven…brb
If there is anyone else out there who is feeling the winter blues this dish is for you. It contains a sh…. really big amount of spices that will send any sort of SADs (seasonal affective disorder) packing.
Before we get into making let’s chat about lentils. Lentils are a dietary staple throughout regions of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal and are in fact the oldest pulse crop known.
They are incredibly magical pulses that will keep you feeling full and satisfied. They have the ability to take on flavour like a sponge and are so versatile and adaptable that you can use them in both sweet and savoury dishes.
For today’s recipe, I’ve decided to use green lentils. Green lentils take a little longer to cook than their red cousins and tend to hold shape a little better. My husband tells me they have a more ‘meat’ like texture and I would have to agree. Slightly peppery in fact. This makes them great in all kinds of dishes be it curries, salads and the perfect ingredient for pie filling….But back to using them in this curry dhal. If you’re short on time or prefer a more ‘mashed potato’ consistency use red lentils and simply reduce the cooking time.
The dhal is great on its own but if you have natural coconut yoghurt (Coyo is my favourite brand) then I would highly recommend adding it to the dish. It will take it to the next level. Think rich, creamy and luxurious all the ingredients that a dish perfect for winter calls for.
Double the quantities and you’ll have dhal to last you a couple of days.
P.s it also makes a great filler for toasted sandwiches, curried lentil dhal toastie!? I’ll take three!
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Perfect winter warmer recipe!
- 1 brown onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic sliced finely
- 2 TBSP fresh ginger grated
- 6 Cups water
- 2 cups green lentils dried
- 2 tsp cumin ground
- 2 tsp coriander ground
- 2 tsp turmeric ground
- ½ tsp cardamom ground
- ½ tsp cinnamon ground
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper ground
- ½ - 1 tsp Curry powder
- 4 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 birds eye chili including seeds, sliced finely
- Salt & pepper to taste
- A handful of baby Spinach leaves
Add all the dhal ingredients (except baby spinach leaves) into a large non-stick saucepan Set to low- medium heat and cook until tender (approx. 50 – 60 mins), the mixture can be very lightly simmering but not boiling. Check the dhal after 30 minutes and again at 45 minutes – if the dhal is losing too much liquid and looking dry, add more water ¼ cup at a time.
Once the lentils are cooked through and are nice and tender, turn off the heat and Stir through the baby spinach leaves, add the lid back on the saucepan and allow the Dhal to rest for 10 minutes. To take make the dhal creamy and extra lush, you can Stir through a few big dollops of coconut yoghurt directly into the pot – try ½ cup OR add as a topping to individual bowls.
- Sliced avocado
- Chilli flakes or extra fresh chili
- Natural coconut yoghurt* (see instructions)
- Fresh lemon wedges
- Roti bread