Recipe of the week: million-dollar dahl from 30 Minute Mowgli by Nisha Katona

16 December 2021
Recipe of the week: million-dollar dahl from 30 Minute Mowgli by Nisha Katona

In Eastern Europe it is tradition at New Year to have these whole-lentil dishes. I add a little more spice than my mother-in-law's original recipe calls for, but the extra oomph really works. The green discs of lentil represent little coins and a wish for wealth in the year ahead. This is a wonderful centrepiece to a meal, regardless of your guests needs, as it is both gluten-free and vegan, as well as filling and delicious.

Serves 4

4tbs vegetable oil

  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 cube frozen crushed garlic or
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cubes frozen crushed ginger or
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fat green chilli, sliced
  • 800g canned green lentils, drained
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tbsp garam masala
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1½tsp salt
  • Small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat, then add the cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds, until they are fragrant and have turned a deep golden brown.

Add the onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaf and sliced chilli, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about eight minutes, until the onions are soft and golden.

Add the lentils, ground turmeric, garam masala, ground cumin and chopped tomatoes to the pan and stir to combine.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a lively simmer and cook for 20 minutes, adding a splash of water if the mixture gets too dry, until the lentils are tender.

Add the salt to the pan to taste, then stir through the chopped fresh coriander. Serve hot.

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