Quick & Easy Coconut Dal

I love dal. Dal has definitely got to be one of my favourite foods. I cannot order Indian without dal on the side, it’s impossible not to because it goes so well with everything. I’ve always had reasonable success with making it at home, it’s always been fairly tasty. But it’s not been anything like the stuff at a restaurant and so I’ve never felt like bragging about it.
A month or so back, after a long and tiring day of lazing about with the boyfriend, I decided to whip up a quick dal. I decided to do it a little differently to normal and just make it up as I went along and put in a few new ingredients. Well, it turns out I’ve pretty much perfected my dal. I wanted to come and blog about it right away but somehow the whole lot was devoured before I could take a photo and I also didn’t check measurements of the ingredients I used.
I did a few more tries just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke and I’ve pretty much nailed the recipe for you. Here you go.

Quick & Easy Coconut Dal

  • 250g red lentils
  • 2.5 pints vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion, sliced finely
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • vegetable oil
  • 60ml coconut cream/1/4 can coconut milk/1 small sachet of coconut cream (I’ve used three different types of coconut here, they all work. You can also adjust to your tastes)
  1. First things first, you want to get the dal going. I simmer this for a fairly long time. So, put the lentils, turmeric, chilli and salt in a medium to large pan. Add two pints of the stock (you may not need the rest, but I’ve found it goes creamier the more water you add) and bring to the boil. Simmer.
  2. While the dal is doing it’s thing, heat some oil in a small pan with the mustard seeds to make them pop. Make sure you put a lid on the pan while you do this, nothing worse than a hot mustard seed spitting in your face. This won’t take too long, careful not to burn them as they go bitter. I let them pop for about 30 seconds or so and remove them from the heat.
  3. Once they’ve popped, let them chill out a bit (they’re angry little bastards) before adding the onion. Fry on a low heat for around 10-15 minutes. You want them to go really brown and caramelised.
  4. Just towards the end of frying, add the garlic and cook it through. Set the onions to one side.
  5. When the dal has simmered for around 15 minutes (make sure you’re checking whether to add more water along the way) add the coconut cream and stir well. Leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes more.
  6. When your dal is ready, stir in the onions, making sure to scrape in all those mustard seeds as well. Then it’s all ready to go. Chopped fresh coriander works great here. Unfortunately the stuff I bought was all manky when I opened it, so I had to go without on this occasion.
This is really good dal. It takes a bit longer than my usual but I think boiling the hell out of the lentils with plenty of water is the key to getting a decent consistency. The coconut cream is a great addition as it gives it a slightly sweet flavour. Nom!

I served mine with basmati rice and some potatoes, onions and kale that I fried up with turmeric and cumin seeds.
Hope you like 🙂

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