Dhal is easy but delicious
Combining yellow curry paste with fragrant flavours of kaffir lime and lemongrass results in a delicious, flavoursome curry sauce.
Kaffir lime leaves are too tough to just eat, so they’re either kept whole and removed after cooking, or sliced thinly.
To prepare them you need to remove the tough central stalk and finely slice the leaves.
RED LENTIL AND COCONUT DHAL WITH KAFFIR LIME AND LEMONGRASS
Red lentil and coconut dahl
1 shallot or 1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely-grated ginger
1 kaffir lime leaf, central stem removed, finely sliced
1⁄2 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layer removed and finely diced
1 tablespoon yellow curry paste (store bought)
1⁄2 cup split red lentils
1 cup coconut milk
1⁄2– 1 cup water
1 teaspoon fish or soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar Juice of
1 capsicum (red, yellow or orange)
2–3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
Steamed white or brown basmati rice 2–3 tablespoons coriander leaves 1⁄4–1⁄2 cup roasted cashew nuts
Heat a drizzle of oil in amedium pot or pan (with a lid) on medium heat. Cook shallot/onion, garlic, ginger, kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass until softened, about 3minutes. If shallot/ onion starts to stick at any time, add a splash of water. Add curry paste, lentils, a dash of coconut milk and stir to coat and cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes, until fragrant.
Add remaining coconut milk, 1⁄2 cup water, fish/soy sauce, sugar and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are cooked through. If dhal is looking too dry at any point add 1⁄4–1⁄2 cup more water.
Remove core and seeds from capsicum and thinly slice. Add to curry to simmer for the last 5 minutes of cook time. Dice tomato 1cm and set aside. Roughly chop coriander. Once dhal is cooked, stir through tomato and spinach and season to taste with salt. Remove from heat.
To serve, spoon steamed rice onto each plate or into each bowl. Spoon red lentil and coconut dhal on top. Garnish with coriander and cashews.
If dhal is looking too dry at any point add more water.