A simple bowl of tomato lentil dal is undeniably comforting. Reassuring flavours and ideal for batch cooking, freezing and sharing.
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
40g fresh ginger, grated
1 carrot, finely diced
1 sweet/bell red pepper finely diced
1 tbsp. ground garam masala
1 tbsp. mild/medium/hot curry powder
1 tbsp. tomato puree
1 red chilli, finely chopped – optional
250g dried red lentils, soaked in water, drained & rinsed
650ml vegetable stock/hot water
1x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1x 400g tin coconut milk
½ juice fresh lemon
A good pinch of salt
Few twists of black pepper
4 kaffir lime leaves
10 baby plum tomatoes, quartered
Spoonful coconut yoghurt
Few leaves fresh coriander
Tip the dried red lentils into a bowl and pour over enough boiled water to cover them. Leave the lentils to soak for at least 30 minutes, then drain and rinse.
Warm a large high-sided pan over medium heat, then add the oil to warm.
Tip in the onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion starts to soften as they start to soften add the carrot and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, ginger and stir through the vegetables.
Spoon in the garam masala, curry powder, tomato puree and red chilli (if using). Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes -until you can smell the spice aroma.
Tip the drained red lentils into the pan, stir and pour over the liquid stock/water, tinned tomatoes and coconut milk. Pop in the kaffir lime leaves and a good pinch of salt, grind of black pepper and then simmer, leaving the spoon in and the lid on partially ajar until the lentils are cooked. Stir occasionally so the dal doesn’t stick to the base of the pan.
Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir through gently cook for about 35 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally and that the longer and slower you cook the dal the better it will be.
Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt, fresh coriander leaves and chopped tomatoes or along with flatbread.
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat within 3 days or freeze.
Keywords: lentil dal, tomato, comfort