Creamy Red Lentil Dahl
Let me just say that I have not always liked lentils.
Growing up my mum would occasionally use lentils in place of meat, and I always hated their mushy texture and weird flavour.
There was also this weird 'vegan' family whose kids I was friends with. They always seemed to be having lentils and tofu and I never liked staying for dinner!! (OH THE IRONY)
When I went to study in Chile, our campus served up a sloppy lentil dish at least once a week and it was so bad I would actually skip lunch that day!!
Fortunately my mum got better at cooking lentils, and somewhere along the line she started making Dahl.
This was a new way of eating lentils for me!! So creamy, flavourful and filling I became a convert, and my mums Dahl still makes my mouth water to this day!
I really think that most people who don't like lentils have just never had them cooked well! Dahl is the BEST way to eat lentils (in my opinion) so you really cant say you don't like them until you've had a good Dahl.
This recipe is based on a combination of 'I think that will work,' and 'I'm sure thats how mum made it?!'
The result is actually quite different than the Dahl I used to have at home, but still extremely delicious and maybe just maybe even better. (My husband thinks so anyway)
The cool thing about this recipe is that it uses red lentils instead of brown, which take significantly less time to cook!
Whereas typical Dahl with brown lentils needs to be planned, this can be made in about half an hour, making it a quick and easy on the go meal. You could really use any lentils you wanted for this recipe, just be aware of different cooking times.
I like to serve this with rice, steamed broccoli, salad and papadums. Our rice cooker has an attachment for steaming vegetables while the rice is cooking, which makes this even easier!
If you're skeptical about lentils, I totally understand! Try this recipe, I'm pretty sure it could convert even the most avid lentil hater.
Like I say for all my recipes, a good stock will really help make a plant based dish flavoursome, I use Vegeta Gourmet stock for this recipe, you can find it at either Countdown or New World.
Feeds about 4 people with rice
2 purple onions finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 cups of red lentils
5 cups of water
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
3 teaspoons of cumin
2 small or 1 big bay leaf
2 teaspoons of soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon of Vegeta Gourmet stock (or any vegetable stock, although I highly recommend this one)
1½ tablespoons of mild curry powder
½ a can of coconut cream (shake it)
Cracked black pepper to taste
Fry the onion and garlic together until soft and translucent.
Add in all the other ingredients except coconut cream.
Bring to boil then simmer on a low/medium heat with the lid on for about half an hour or until lentils are very soft.
Keep checking and add more water if needed during the cooking process, you want a stew like consistency so don't add too much water but if the lentils soak it all up and the pan gets too dry everything will stick to the pot and burn. (So don't do that either!!)
5½ cups of water is perfect in my opinion. This recipe is basically impossible to get wrong so just have some common sense and you'll be fine!!
Once everything is cooked add the coconut cream (more or less if you desire) and season to taste.
Serve with rice, and add anything else you desire. I love this with a massive salad on the side.
Please leave a comment down below if you like this recipe or if you make it please let me know how it goes!