Green lentil dahl with pilau rice


I’m having a bit of a love affair with lentils at the moment, and this is the perfect dish on its own for meat free Mondays (or Tuesdays) and if you make enough for leftovers you can have as a side dish another day. This serves 2 as a main dish.

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 pepper, medium dice
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic; minced
  • 2cm fresh ginger; peeled and grated or minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 250g dried green lentils
  • 700ml vegetable stock (1 cube)
  • handful of spinach, any stalks chopped finely and leaves shredded
  • 200g beans (broad beans podded weight, or runner beans sliced diagonally)
  • Small bunch fresh coriander chopped
  • Lemon juice;  as needed
  • 150g basmati rice
  1. To make the pilau rice, first heat some oil in a saucepan and add half the onion, half the garlic and the turmeric. Sizzle everything for 5 mins until softened, but not coloured.
  2. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, then soak in warm water for 5 mins while you cook the onions.
  3. Meanwhile for the dahl in a large pan heat enough oil to coat the bottom and sweat remaining onions, any spinach stalks and pepper until soft (about 5 mins)
  4. Add garlic, ginger, and spices and stir together to toast the spices for a few seconds
  5. Add the lentils, stirring to evenly coat in oil and spices. Add 450ml stock and bring to the boil.
  6.  Cover the pan and reduce to a simmer, and gently cooking for about 20 minutes until liquid is almost gone and lentils are tender, but still with a little bit of bite.
  7. Stir though the rice and podded beans and pour over the remaining (250ml) stock. Bring to the boil, then cover and turn down heat to a minimum and cook the rice very slowly for 10 mins. The young beans should not need to be skinned, but later in the season you may wish to cook separately and skin before adding to cooked rice. Leave with lid on while you cook the dahl.
  8. When almost ready to serve add spinach leaves to dahl and stir through for a minute to wilt.
  9. Add coriander, salt, and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste and serve with rice.