Prep time: 5 minutes (excludes soaking time)
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
This dhal is a simple, easy and nutritious mid-week dinner packed with fragrant spices and served with fluffy basmati rice and flatbread, two ways!
My love affair with dhal started from a young age. Both my parents have their own versions and I remember eating dhal at least once a week if not more as a kid. Everyone has their own way of making dhal and there are so many incredible methods of this dish that can be made in a 1000 different ways.
I often make dhal in my Duo Crisp InstantPot as it's super quick and I can literally forget about it and it's cooked in 20-25 minutes but I decided to do this recipe on the stove top and give it the time, love and attention that it deserves.
Lentils and Dahl have been part of Indian heritage and culture for centuries with family recipes passed down through the generations. It is a staple in India and one of the many reasons I love Dahl is that it's affordable, accessible and so easy to make while being packed with nutrients. Dhal is a super nutritious meal as it is filled with fibre, protein, folate, zinc, calcium and potassium. You can use different lentils to make dhal and today I am using split red lentils as they cook quickly and are super creamy and delicious.
It is my absolute comfort food and something I always include in my diet when I need to be grounded or have a lot of work deadlines, commitments and projects on the go.
I have teamed up with one of my favourite iconic local SA brands - Nomu to create some delicious, nutritious and nourishing plant based recipes inspired by their range of incredible products. This dish is packed with spices from Nomu and they have a great selection of spices, herbs, cook's salt and local olive oil. You can use my code MIRAWEINER10 to get 10% off on your online purchases.
Let’s cook ☺
3 cups red lentils, soaked overnight
2 litres vegetable stock
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup organic tinned tomatoes
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, grated
Thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled & grated
Chilli flakes (optional)
White basmati rice (can also use short grain brown rice or quinoa)
Coconut yoghurt raita
1. Soaking the red lentils overnight is the best option for two reasons: it makes them easier to digest and quicker to cook.
2. Heat the olive oil in a pot, once hot add the onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add the garlic and fresh ginger. Cook for a few minutes, making sure to stir so it doesn’t burn. Add the spices. You want to smell the delicious fragrance coming from your pot but you don’t want anything to burn so continue to stir and watch it (approx. 2-3 minutes). Add the red lentils, grated carrots and vegetable stock to the pot. Once the dhal comes to a boil, add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and continue to cook for 45 minutes-1 hour. Check on it now and then to give it a good stir. I like my dhal thick but still pourable, if you prefer a thinner dhal you can add more vegetable stock or water if it gets very thick.
3. Once the dhal has cooked, add the coconut milk and stir through.
4. Serve the dahl hot with fresh coriander, basmati rice and/or flatbreads and coconut yoghurt raita. The leftover dahl freezes well and can also be blended into a creamy soup. Enjoy!
Recipe and styling by Mira Weiner
Photography by Mark Chipps