Gently spiced dhal with coconut cream
- January 2016
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 25 min, simmering time 50 min
A comforting vegetarian lunch or supper of lightly spiced lentils with coriander, ginger and coconut.
- Vegan recipes
- Vegetarian recipes
- 8g (2.7g saturated)
- 38.6g (9.3g sugars)
- 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
- 3 leeks, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- Seeds from 3 green cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 10 dried curry leaves
- 25g fresh ginger, grated
- 400g mung dhal (see know-how)
- 50g raisins
- 1½-2 litres vegetable stock, hot (see tip)
- 200g spinach
- Large bunch fresh coriander, chopped
- Coconut cream and lime wedges to serve
- Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a large deep saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft but not coloured. Add the spices, curry leaves and fresh ginger, then cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until fragrant.
- Add the dhal, raisins and 1.5 litres stock and cook for about 45 minutes until the lentils are tender. You may need to add a little more stock, depending on how much liquid the lentils absorb and how thick you like your soup (see tips).
- Add the spinach and coriander and stir until wilted. Taste and adjust the seasoning – it will need plenty of salt, maybe some lemon juice or extra fresh ginger. Serve drizzled with coconut cream, with lime wedges to squeeze over.
If you need to add more stock in step 2, ensure it’s ￼￼hot, as adding cold stock will slow the cooking process. For a creamier texture, you could whizz half the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor, then combine with the rest before serving.
Mung dhal are split mung beans that have had the ￼￼green husks removed. Buy them in the world food aisle of large supermarkets, from Indian grocers or at asiancookshop.co.uk. If you can’t find them, use split red lentils. You could use yellow split peas, but they take longer to cook and need to be soaked overnight before using.
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