Gluten free, Vegetarian
Warm up with a fast, fragrant, fuss-free curry
Don’t be overwhelmed by the long list of spices: this healthy, aromatic daal comes together in one pot in about 30 minutes, making it a perfect option for weeknights. Add a dollop of yoghurt and some warm flatbread (or even a thick Ancient Grains pizza base-cum-naan) and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal. Or save it for the weekend and serve as part of an Indian banquet with all the trimmings. Any leftovers will freeze well, but leave the vegetables out and add fresh before serving.
Lentils are a renowned health food with good reason: at 26 % protein they are one of the richest plant based protein sources available. Lentils are also a great source of fibre and are rich in folate, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. To maximise the nutritional value and digestibility of lentils they are best sprouted, which activates all the essential amino acids, or soaked.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 tbsp ghee or mustard oil
1 large brown onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
½ bunch coriander, leaves reserved / root and stem finely chopped
1 cinnamon quill
8 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp yellow or black mustard seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
½ tsp sea salt
2 cups split red lentils, soaked for 6 hours
1 large sweet potato (about 400 g), chopped into large golf ball sized pieces
1.5 L water
150 g baby spinach
yoghurt, flatbreads and/or rice, to serve
1. Warm ghee in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until golden. Add garlic, ginger, coriander root and stem, cinnamon, cardamom and mustard seeds and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add ground spices and salt and cook a minute, stirring.
2. Add the lentils, sweet potato and water to the saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn down to low and allow the daal to simmer for about 15- 20 minutes, until the lentils have collapsed and the sweet potato is tender. Take off the heat and stir through the spinach and most of the coriander leaves.
3. Serve the daal with yoghurt, flatbreads and/or rice, garnishing with the remaining coriander.