Coconut Tomato Dhal

coconut dhalI love Dhal. My girls love Dhal. My boys, alas, do not.
This recipe is but one of my attempts to change the boys’ minds. No bueno.

As for me, I love the creaminess of the coconut – it’s taken dhal to new heights.

Dhal is not only for rice – my favourite way is on top of a baked kumara or potato with lots of fresh coriander and crunchy seeds on top.

1 cup red lentils
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 Tblsp coconut oil
2 tsp fresh ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp fresh ground coriander
1/2 tsp of chilli
1 1/2 Tblspn lemon or lime juice
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400ml tin coconut milk
Roughly chopped coriander to serve

Gather all the ingredients together so that once the spices go in you are ready to toss the rest in. Burnt spices are an avoidable tragedy.

Wash the lentils well and leave to drain in a sieve while you cook the onions.

Saute the onion in the coconut oil over a gentle heat until it’s translucent and soft, not brown ok. Add the garlic and spices and saute quickly – barely a minute – until the fragrance begins to waft.

Add the lentils, lemon juice, coconut milk, tomatoes and 1/2 a ‘tomato tin’ of water.

Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and cook at a most gentle simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Stir regularly, adding more water if needed.

Taste for salt.

You can make a lovely dhal with any combination of liquids, as long as there is about 3cups in total for this recipe – tomato + water, coconut milk + water or just water is lovely too.