My favourite daal recipe
by Head Chef Ian Worley
120g green lentils
30ml good quality oil or ghee
2 Romano peppers (or red bell peppers), cut roughly into 2cm pieces
120g red onion, finely chopped
12 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 tbsp curry powder (however mild or hot you like it!)
800g chopped tomatoes, blended (but not too smooth)
400ml full fat coconut milk
2 chicken or vegetable bouillon stock cubes
200-300g balls of frozen spinach, defrosted
Garnish: a handful of chopped coriander and a squeeze of lemon
1. Soak the lentils in plenty of water and leave in the fridge overnight.
2. Prep the peppers, onions, garlic and blend the tomatoes, then tidy away any leftover mess (the more prep you’ve done before you start cooking the more fun you’ll have!).
3. Drain the lentils, put in a large saucepan and cover again with cold water. Cook on a very low heat for about 20 minutes, but don’t add any salt as it will make them tough.
4. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan and add the oil when it gets hot.
5. Cook the peppers on a medium/high heat until they’ve softened.
6. Reduce the heat and add the onions and cook until softened but not caramelised.
7. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes, add the curry powder. Stir in well, and cook until the curry powder becomes fragrant.
8. Add the tomatoes, stock and coconut milk, bring to a simmer and leave to cook gently, stirring occasionally.
9. The lentils should now be starting to break open a little. Don’t be scared to overcook them a little it makes for a much better texture. When they’re cooked through, drain off the water and leave to stand in a colander.
10. Squeeze out the water from the spinach and mix into the curry.
11. Add the lentils, and cook out for another 5-10 minutes, then with salt season to your taste. Leave to stand a short while before serving or even better leave it overnight and then re-heat the next day.