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 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 lemon

1 cap­sicum (red, yel­low or or­ange)

1 tomato

2–3 hand­fuls baby spinach leaves

To serve

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.

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