Lentil dahl with vegetable pilau

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
  • 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, rinsed and drained
  • 700ml vegetable stock (1 cube)
  • handful of spinach, any stalks chopped finely and leaves shredded
  • 1 carrot chopped into small pieces
  • Small bunch fresh coriander chopped
  • Lemon juice;  as needed
  • 150g basmati rice
  1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, then soak in warm water for 5 mins while you cook the vegetables.
  2. To make the pilau, first heat some oil in a saucepan and add half the onion, carrots, spinach stalks, half the garlic and the turmeric. Sizzle everything for 5 mins until softened, but not browned.
  3. Stir the rice through these onions to coat with oil and then pour over 375ml stock. Bring to the boil, then cover and turn down heat to a minimum and cook the rice very slowly for 10 mins. Once cooked, leave with lid on while you finish the dahl.
  4. Meanwhile for the dahl in a large pan heat enough oil to coat the bottom and sweat remaining onions, until soft (about 5 mins)
  5. Add garlic, ginger, and spices and stir together to toast the spices for a few seconds
  6. Add the lentils, stirring to evenly coat in oil and spices. Add 600ml stock and bring to the boil.
  7.  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.If you run out of liquid before this you can add a little water and cook for a little longer.
  8. When almost ready to serve, add spinach leaves to dahl and stir through for a minute to wilt.
  9. Add coriander, season as necessary and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste and serve with rice.

NB – photo features pepper which is not currently available.