Masoor Dal

It has been an incredibly busy week of packing and cleaning and organising; I still can’t believe we are leaving New Zealand in only one week! We are going to miss this place like you wouldn’t believe but there’s all the excitement of seeing family & friends again and finding a new place to live to look forward to.

Feeling quite sad and a little exhausted last night the craving for some serious comfort food kicked in; and Dal is warm, spicy comfort food at its best. It’s so simple to prepare and with only a few inexpensive ingredients you can whip up a delicious bowl of spicy and satisfying food. Lentils are a great source of vegetarian protein, iron and dietary fibre, making Dal not only amazingly tasty but super good for you too.

Here the Dal is served topped with cashew nuts, coconut, sultanas (raisins) and coriander for added texture and flavours and a good dollop of natural yoghurt if you like. Try serving this easy vegetarian recipe accompanied with pappadams, naan bread and/or rice for a truly delicious meal; perfect for the whole family.

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Masoor Dal
Preparation time: 40mins // Serves 4

  • 450g (1 lb) red lentils, rinsed
  • 400g (14 0z) tomatoes, roughly diced
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 green chilli, finely diced
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 tbs peanut (or vegetable) oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp raw sugar
  • 6 cups vegetable stock

to serve

  • ¼ cup raw cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup sultanas (raisins)
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
  • natural yoghurt (optional)
  • steamed Basmati rice
  • pappadams or naan bread

In good sized heavy-based pot or deep frypan, dry roast the cumin seeds over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Remove from the pan and grind or chop seeds finely.

In the same pan heat the oil and the mustard seeds over a high heat until the seeds start to pop. Add the onion and fry over a medium heat for 2 minutes until soft, turn down the heat a little, add the spices, including the cumin plus the garlic, ginger and chilli, continue to cook over a medium to low heat for a further minute until fragrant.

Add the red lentils and toss to combine, add the chopped tomatoes and sprinkle with sugar, bring the heat up to medium/high and add a splash of stock, continuing to toss the tomatoes and lentils with the spice mixture for a minute or so, adding more stock when needed to stop it from sticking.

Add the remaining stock and bring the Dal to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered for 25 minutes until lentils are soft and the Dal is a thick stew/soup consistency.

Serve in warm bowls topped with nuts, coconut, sultanas and coriander or a little natural yoghurt and accompanied with pappadams or naan bread and steamed basmati rice.

A great easy Vegan meal and healthy recipe the whole family will enjoy and the perfect comfort food to make you feel good inside and out.

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