1. Tip the dark speckled lentils into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside to soak. Tip the rice into a separate, large bowl and cover with cold water. Whisk with a fork or whisk till the water goes cloudy (this is the starch). Drain the rice, rinse it under fresh water and then tip it back into the bowl. Cover with fresh cold water. Set aside.
2. Peel and finely chop the onions. Peel and finely grate the garlic and ginger. Finely chop the chillies, scooping out the seeds and white pith for less heat.
3. Place a large pan over a medium heat and add 2 tbsp oil. Add the cumin seeds and bay leaf and fry, stirring, for 1-2 mins till the pan smells aromatic. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies and fry, stirring, for 1 min to flavour the oil.
4. Tip the chopped onions into the pan and add 2 tbsp cold water. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and fry, stirring often, for 8-10 mins till the onions are golden brown and glossy.
5. While the onions fry, drain the lentils. Drain and rinse the kidney beans. Scoop 1 tbsp of the thick coconut cream out of the tin of coconut milk. Pop the cream into a bowl for later. Fill and boil your kettle.
6. Add the garam masala and turmeric to the onions and stir for 1 min. Tip the lentils and kidney beans into the pan. Stir to mix. Add the remaining coconut milk and the chopped tomatoes, then top up the pan with 400ml hot water from the kettle. Stir well, then pop on a lid and turn up the heat. Bring the pan to the boil. When it's boiling, turn down the heat and simmer for 30 mins or till the lentils are very tender and the sauce has thickened. If it seems too dry, add a splash more water. It should be a little soupy.
7. While the dal cooks, drain the rice then rinse it well under cold water. Tip it into a separate large pan. Add 600ml hot water from the kettle with a pinch of salt. Pop on a lid, bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down and very gently simmer for 20-25 mins till the rice has absorbed the water. Turn the heat off and let the rice steam in the pan, lid on, for 5 mins to finish cooking it.
8. When the dal has thickened and is tender, add the spinach to the pan and pop the lid back on. Steam the spinach for 4-5 mins to wilt it, then gently stir it into the lentils. Taste and add a pinch more salt, if you think it needs it.
9. Fluff the rice with a fork and divide between four warm bowls. Ladle over the dal and top with the coconut cream you saved earlier. Tear over the coriander leaves and serve.
10. Love Your Leftovers
The dal will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge in airtight tubs. Reheat in the microwave or on the hob till piping hot with an extra splash of stock or water. The dal can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight before reheating. We recommend cooking the rice to order, rather than storing and reheating it.