This recipe was written by Hollie Grant, Owner of Pilates PT and author of The Model Method. I love Indian food, and the more fragrant it is, the better. This dhal has a few components but they are all well worth the effort. I love serving this on a large platter so people can help themselves to the accompaniments. Lentils are an incredible source of fibre, which helps to maintain a healthy digestive system. This recipe also contributes two portions of vegetables to your five-a-day and is a high source of fibre and a source of protein. The mint yoghurt cuts through the spices of the dal beautifully.
What you need:
350 grams of red split lentils (rinsed)
1 litre of good-quality vegetable stock (low-salt if possible)
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of curry powder or garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
1/2 a crushed fresh red chilli
1 thinly sliced large red onion
4 thinly sliced garlic cloves
2 finely chopped large carrots
400 grams of cauliflower, broken into mini florets
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of curry powder or garam masala (plus extra to serve)
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan (180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4).
Rinse the lentils and place them in a large saucepan with the stock and turmeric.
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25–30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
Meanwhile, spread the cauliflower florets out in a large roasting tray. Drizzle over the oil, then add a generous grind of fresh black pepper and the curry powder or garam masala. Toss to coat and pop the tray in the oven for 20 minutes, turning the cauliflower florets halfway through.
When the lentils are almost done, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the spices, fennel, coriander and chilli and fry for 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the onion, garlic and carrots and fry for 5–6 minutes until soft, then reduce the heat to low.
Mix the ingredients for the yoghurt together in a bowl and leave to one side. When the lentils are soft, add them to the onion and carrot mixture in the pan.
Stir well, adding a little more pepper if needed.
Divide between four bowls, and serve with the roasted cauliflower (sprinkle a little extra curry powder or garam masala on top, if you like) and mint yoghurt dressing on the side, for people to help themselves.
Tip: You can swap the red lentils for any you have in your cupboard (the recipe also works well with green lentils) and use non-dairy alternatives for the yoghurt, if you prefer.