I have a notebook that I’ve used as a handwritten recipe book since I moved away from home at 18. I asked my Mum for our favourite recipes and copied them from her cookbook collection, making adaptations as I went along as my Mum never makes anything exactly as the recipe states.
In this book are two dahl recipes, ‘Easy Dahl’ and ‘More Complicated Dahl’. This is the recipe for the former (and more catchy named) ‘Easy Dahl’. I believe this recipe is adapted from a Cranks recipe (the original holy book of vegetarian cooking).
1 medium red onion (use white onion if it’s all you have)
225g red lentils
1 – 2 tbsp curry powder
1 pint water
1 tsp Marmite
Grated coconut cream (the kind you buy in a block)
Juice 1/2 lemon
Chop the onion finely and add to a large pan. Rinse the lentils in a sieve and then add to the pan. Stir over medium heat for 5 minutes. There’s an option to start with a little vegetable oil if you wish but I almost never do this. If you use a dry pan and add a little splash of water any time it starts to stick, you’ll have soft, translucent onions without it.
Stir in the curry powder. Add 3/4 pint of boiled water to the pan and stir through. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat until the lentils are soft and the liquid is absorbed. You can add the final 1/4 pint water to the dahl if it needs it here. I like a thicker dahl but you do you.
Finally, grate in coconut cream to taste and the lemon juice. Doing this at the last minute will preserve its vibrancy.
Serve with your usual curry accompaniments. We love banana in lemon juice or avocado which may sound weird but is honestly fabulous.
Please let me know if you try this and what you think! Does anyone have other accompaniment suggestions? I’d eat mango chutney with a spoon if I could.