I am describing myself these days as a “flexitarian”, as I support the philosophy of vegetarianism and try to follow its precepts, at least for some of the time. I am finding that I am becoming more and more interested in vegetarian cooking, as well as really enjoying eating meat free. I regard my forays into vegetarian cooking as an ongoing project!
My Saturday morning trip to Orange Grove Market often results in the acquisition of some delicious Indian fare from a couple of market stalls. One of these stalls makes a great red lentil dahl – so delicious! So I thought it was about time I made my own.
I found this recipe from Vegan Sparkles and made it with a few tweaks. The link to the original recipe is here. My main variation was adding water as well as stock to the recipe, as the dahl really needed the extra liquid.
It’s super easy to make, looks colourful and enticing, is both vegetarian and vegan and best of all – tastes great!
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 cup sweet potato, chopped into cubes
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp mustard seeds (black or yellow)
¾ tsp ground cayenne pepper
1½ tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground coriander
1 clove garlic, chopped
1½ cups dried red lentils
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 tsp honey
1 cup grated and pulped carrot
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup baby spinach leaves
½ tsp nigella seeds
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or frying pan over a medium heat. Add onion and sweet potato and fry gently until onion is soft. Add ginger, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric, garam masala coriander and garlic to the pan, and cook, while stirring, until mustard seeds begin to pop.
Add the lentils, stock and water and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the honey. Put the carrot pulp, broccoli and cherry tomatoes into the dahl and simmer for another 15 minutes.
The dahl will be cooked and somewhat reduced. If it’s looks a little too dry, add more water, or if it’s too liquidey, reduce down a bit more.
Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the spinach leaves until they are just wilted. Scatter the nigella seeds just before serving over the dish. They will give an interesting black fleck to the dish!