375 g dried split red lentils
1 litre water
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (or 1tsp finely grated if you have fresh tumeric)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 stem fresh (or frozen) curry leaves
2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tin (400g) diced tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
squeeze of lemon juice per serve
steamed basmati rice to serve
It’s hard to beat a bowl of flavour packed dahl for comfort and ease, and this tadka dahl recipe is my favourite. I’ve adapted this from New Zealander Emma Galloway (My Darling Lemon Thyme) who in turn shared it from an Indian cookbook from an English celebrity chef. A good dahl goes far. This also freezes well so make a big batch and simplify some mid week meals.
Rinse the red lentils well, drain and tip into a medium saucepan. Cover with the water and add turmeric, coriander, garam masala and curry leaves (stripped off the stem). Stir well and bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until the lentils have softened. Add a little more water if they are drying out.
Heat the ghee or oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring for 10 minutes until deeply coloured and fragrant. Add garlic and stir for a further 2-3 minutes. Add cumin seeds, chilli flakes and stir for 1 minute before adding the diced tomatoes. Season the mixture well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook over medium heat for a good 5 minutes.
Tip the onion and tomato mixture into the pan of cooked red lentils and stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook together for a further 10-15 minutes. Add some water or cook a little longer if your dahl is either too dry or too runny. Taste and season if needed.
Serve hot with steamed basmati rice, a little lemon juice and some seasonal veggies.