- 150g red lentils
- 1 onion
- 2 courgettes
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 garlic clove
- A thumb of ginger
- 1 chilli
- A handful of coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- ½ tsp olive, sunflower or coconut oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 450ml boiling water
1. Tip the lentils into a bowl. Pour enough cold water into the pan to cover the lentils. Leave them to soak while you prepare the veg.
2. Peel and finely chop the onion. Trim and coarsely grate the courgettes. Peel and coarsely grate the sweet potato.
3. Warm ½ tsp oil in a medium pan over a low heat. Add the onion, courgette and sweet potato. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 mins till the veg have softened.
4. While the veg fry, peel and grate the garlic and ginger. Finely chop the chilli, flicking out the seeds and white pith for less heat. Finely chop the coriander stalks (save the leaves for garnishing).
5. Stir the garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander stalks into the veg with 1 tsp each ground cumin, coriander and turmeric. Drop in the cinnamon stick and 4 cloves. Cook and stir for 1 min.
6. Drain the lentils and stir them into the spiced veg. Crumble in the vegetable stock cube and pour in 450ml boiling water.
7. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Pop the lid on the pan. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat down. Cover. Simmer for 10-15 mins till the lentils are soft and thick but still a little soupy. Keep your eye on the pan, and stir every so often so they don’t catch and burn. Add a splash more water if the lentils need it.
8. Taste the daal and add a pinch more salt or pepper if you think it needs it. Scoop out the cinnamon stick and the cloves (if you can spot them). Spoon the daal into warm bowls and top with the reserved coriander leaves, roughly chopped. Serve straight away.