Sri Lankan dal with coconut and lime kale
Serves 4 adults (or a family with several kids)
15 minutes prep time
30 minutes cooking on the hob
Source: Adapted from Fresh India, Meera Sodha
Gluten-free: Yes (without optional pitta or naan to serve)
Dairy-free: Yes (without optional yoghurt to serve)
Vegan: Yes (as above)
This has to be an all time favourite recipe. Without the chillies it is something all the kids will eat and I have since made another batch for a weeks worth of lunches just for me. Delicious, filling, warming on a cold day and healthy. You should definitely give this one a try!
- Red lentils (450g)
- Cardamon pods (3)
- Cinnamon stick (1)
- Whole cloves (3)
- Brown onions (2 thinly sliced)
- Garlic (4, crushed)
- Ginger (2cm peeled and grated)
- Green chillies (2 sliced, optional, we left these out)
- Ground turmeric (1/3 tsp)
- Kale (250g)
- Tinned coconut milk (200ml)
- Mustard seeds (1/2 tsp)
- Desicated coconut (2 tbsp)
- Lime (1 juiced)
- Rice and plain yoghurt (we didn't bother with either)
- Pitta or naan bread (if you are feeling extra hungry or to persuade the kids to eat it!)
- Wash the lentils in cold water until it runs clear then cover and leave to one side. Bash the cardamom until cracked.
- Put some vegetable oil into a deep lidded saucepan over a medium heat and when hot add the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Stir fry for a minute then add the onions. Cook for ten mins until the onions are browning and soft, stirring frequently, then add the garlic, ginger and chillies if using. Stir fry for a few more minutes then remove a third of the mixture and leave it to one side (leave this bit out if you're not planning to have the kale).
- Drain the lentils and add to the pan along with the turmeric and 1 litre of hot water. Bring to the boil then turn the heat right down and simmer for 20-25 mins until the lentils are soft and creamy.
- In the meantime, if you want to include the kale, wash it and chop the leaves into 5cm strips getting rid of the thicker stems.
- When the lentils are ready, add the coconut milk and 1 1/2 tsp of salt, cook for another 5 mins then take off the heat and cover to keep warm.
- Put 1tbs vegetable oil into a frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the mustard seeds. When they pop put the reserved onion mixture into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes, then add the kale and desiccated coconut. Stir fry for a minute, then add 50ml of water and put the lid on. Leave to steam for 4 minutes then add the lime juice and 1/2 tsp of salt and stir. Put the lid back on and steam for another 2 mins or until the kale is soft and tender.
- To serve, put the dal into bowls, top with kale (and / or yoghurt) and either tuck in or eat with a side of bread or rice. Hmmm delicious.