There are many different recipes for daal, made with different types of split peas, lentils and even chickpeas, so here is a simple basic one to get you started. From here, feel free to customize to your own taste by adding plain yoghurt, coconut yoghurt or different herbs and spices. I like to eat mine from a deep bowl with a toasted pitta bread or two – or a naan bread if you can stretch to that.
Serves 3
100g dried red lentils
1 onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
a splash of oil
1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in 1 litre boiling water
1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander, plus extra to serve
Rinse the lentils in cold water and drain. Place in a saucepan, cover with fresh water and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises with a spoon.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the onion into small pieces and place into a small frying pan with the cumin and oil. Fry gently for a few minutes to release the spice’s flavour and soften the onion. Then add to the saucepan containing the lentils along with the stock, chopped tomatoes and coriander.
Reduce to a low heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are swollen. Check towards the end of cooking and add a little more water if required.
Stir well, then serve garnished with more chopped coriander.
Tip: If you’ve got some, use coconut milk instead of the chopped tomatoes and substitute ground turmeric for the ground cumin for a rich, sweet, creamier tasting version.
‘Warm Spicy Daal’ recipe from A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe.
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