I love dahl. Protein rich, easily digestable, tasty, a one pot meal in itself- I could sing its glories all day. I make variations on this recipe all the time. Dahl means lentil, or a pulse which has been split. However, dahl as a dish means a thick, soupy stew made from some variety of lentil which has been cooked until it begins to break down, making a thick starchy sauce. I usually cook with moong dahl, which is halved moong beans. Its great, because it doesn’t need to be soaked first. Other favourites of mine are urid dahl, channa dahl and toover dal.
2 cups moong dahl
3 bay leaves
1 tspn salt
1 small head of brocolli, diced
3/4 cup diced squash
1 bunch spinach, leaves removed and chopped a little
1.5 Tbspn grated ginger (fresh)
1/2 Tbspn cumin seeds
1/4 tspn cayenne pepper
1/2 tspn turmeric
1/4 tspn hing
fresh lemon juice, to serve
fresh coriander, to serve
Wash the moon dahl, then drain it, then wash it, then drain it etc etc until the water runs clear and isn’t cloudy. Traditionally, the yellow colour on the dahl was turmeric, but unfortunately these days it can be (not always) a toxic food dye- and often if you buy it from an indian or asian store its not listed on the packet. So wash wash wash your dahl! (You should do this even if it IS turmeric on the dahl BTW.)
Now, put the dahl into a saucepan and cover with 6 cups of water. Add the bay leaves and salt and bring to a gentle boil. I put a wooden spoon over the pot so that it doesn’t foam up and overflow, because dahl foams like mad if it gets too hot.
After about 15- 20mins mins of gentle boiling, or, when you can see that the dahl is beginning to break up, add the broccoli and spinach. Boil until soft.
Once those veges are cooked, add the spinach. You don’t need to cook it really. It will just wilt and cook itself in the hot dahl.
Heat 1-2 Tbspn oil in a frypan. Fry the cumin seeds until they go golden brown, then add the ginger, constantly moving it about so it doesn’t stick. Then add hing and cayenne pepper, and lastly turmeric. Now quickly put the fried spices into the dahl mixture. Mix the dahl a bit, then put a lid on the pot and let the spices infuse the soup for a few mins.
Chop a handful of coriander coarsely. Cut a lemon into wedges. Serve the dahl while hot, with a sprinkle of coriander and a wedge of lemon to squeeze over the top. This is also awesome served on basmati rice with a splodge of soy yohurt and an indian bread!