Red Lentil Dahl and Roasted Cauliflower

Posted By Stephen


Yesterday’s lentils were bumped to today due to a delicious roast chicken getting in the way, but we got to them finally.  There are as many recipes for this sort of dish as there are people who have cooked it; this one is a merging of various recipes and home-made versions that I’ve used in the past, so doesn’t claim any particular heritage:

250g red lentils (you could use different lentils, but the consistency will be different)
3 large garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
1 inch ginger, grated
1 medium onion, finely diced
1tsp ground coriander seed
1tsp ground cumin seed
1tsp black mustard seed (normal mustard seed will do if you have that but not black)
1/2 tsp turmeric
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper
oil for frying
500ml water
chopped coriander leaves

Heat up some oil in a large saucepan and fry the garlic and ginger.  When this has fried for a few minutes, add all the spices and stir, cooking for a further few minutes to cook the rawness out of them.  Then add the onion and stir this around in the spices, then cook on a lowish heat until it has softened but not started to caramelise.  Add the lentils, water, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Let this cook for 20 to 30 minutes until done; you will probably need to add more water at some point so don’t let it dry out and burn.  Check for seasoning and add some more lemon juice if it needs it.  Stir in the coriander leaves and serve.  This tends to taste better when it has cooled down a bit to allow the flavours to mellow and blend together.

We didn’t use coriander as ours had turned yellow, so I attempted to make a tarka topping at the last minute but that didn’t turn out very well.  We served this with some roasted cauliflower which was very good – coat some cauliflower florets in a little oil, then season well with salt and pepper and ground spices (we used some garam masala that we had made a few weeks ago for another dish) and then roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until done.

Thinking back to the various versions of this dish that I mentioned at the start of the post, I do remember a particularly good version which I think was Bangladeshi in origin.  The recipe specified fewer individual spices (turmeric was the main one and it may have had a little garam masala too) and was cooked with a quartered lemon in the pot.  It was really delicious; I shall have to see if I can find a recipe similar to that again.

Jul 22nd, 2009

2 Comments to 'Red Lentil Dahl and Roasted Cauliflower'

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  1. James said,

    Oooh – vegetarian heaven! I made a similar version last week with green lentils and roast purple sprouting broccoli. Comfort food…. in about 3 minutes
    .-= James´s last blog ..Wheat free and gluten free baking =-.

  2. Jonathan said,

    I’d not thought of roasting cauliflower before. Nice idea.
    .-= Jonathan´s last blog ..Sketch Gallery – An Advertising Agency in Disguise? =-.

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