Spiced Courgette & Tomato Dal with Crispy Garlic Recipe | Abel & Cole

Spiced Courgette & Tomato Dal with Crispy Garlic

Cooking time
Serves6 people
Spiced Courgette & Tomato Dal with Crispy Garlic

Warm yourself from the inside out with this zesty, pan of lightly spiced courgette, fresh tomato and red lentil dal that’s topped with crispy golden garlic.

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layout 1 comment


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 chilli
  • 2 onions
  • A thumb of ginger
  • 2 vine tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp daal spice mix
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 500g red lentils
  • 1.75l hot water
  • 3 courgettes
  • 1 lemon
  • 200g spinach
  • Freshly ground pepper

Keep & Eat Tip: Cool the curry and stir through the fried aromatics and oil. Divide into smaller portions and store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost and reheat thoroughly before eating.

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1. Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Set half to one side. Halve the chilli and flick out the seeds (If you like hot food, keep the seeds as they contain a lot of the chillies spice). Thinly slice the chilli.
2. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onions. Peel and grate the ginger. Dice the tomatoes into 2cm cubes.
3. Put your largest pan on a medium high heat. When the pan is warm, add 3 tbsp oil. Tip in the black mustard seeds, half the sliced garlic and the thinly sliced chilli. Add a large pinch of salt and fry for 2-3 mins till the garlic is pale golden and crispy, and the mustard seeds begin to pop. Tip this, including the oil into a small bowl. This is the topping for your dal. Set aside.
4. Put the pan back on a medium heat and add 1 tbsp oil. Add the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 mins, stirring now and then, till the onion is glossy and lightly coloured. Add the remaining garlic, the chilli seeds (if you kept them and want a spicier daal) and the ginger. Stir for 1 min.
5. Tip in the tomatoes and add the dal spice blend and the fennel seeds. Cook and stir for 2 mins till the tomatoes are slightly softened and the pan smells aromatic.
6. Pour the lentils into the pan and stir. Pour in 1.25 ltrs hot water and turn the heat to low. Pop on a lid and cook for 10 mins.
7. While the lentils are cooking, trim and coarsely grate the courgettes. Zest the lemon and cut the lemon into 6 wedges. Finely shred the spinach, removing any thick stems.
8. When the lentils have cooked for 10 mins, add the courgettes to the pan. Pour in 500ml boiling water and stir. Cook for 10 mins. Stir once or twice to check the dal isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. After 10 mins, stir the spinach into the daal to wilt it slightly. Taste and season the dal with more salt if you think it needs it.
9. Ladle the dal into warm bowls and spoon over the fried garlic, mustard seeds and chilli with a little of the spiced oil. Sprinkle over the lemon zest and serve with lemon wedges to squeeze.
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Loved this recipe :). Luckily, I had all the ingredients in stock as my veg box had arrived with courgettes, spinach and juicy tomatoes, and I keep a well-stocked herb/spice/pulse cupboard. Preparation to end result - I would say the 60 mins is accurate. Ease of recipe - very easy to follow; didn’t feel like I had to manically chop everything whilst something else was burning like some recipes. I also included some chopped fresh coriander. Portion size - very generous! I made sufficient to freeze for later in the week when I get home from work starving! I served it with plain basmati rice - delicious! Would recommend :)..