During the cooler months we make a large batch of dahl at least twice a month. Dahl is filled with nourishing, inexpensive and readily available ingredients and has to be one of the most uncomplicated recipes to make. Like our Three-Bean Chili, it is a dish we crave if we’ve not eaten it for a while. Watching the whole family sit down and soak up the scent of the warming spices, dip in a chapati or scoop up a mouthful with vegan yogurt and rice makes us very satisfied cooks. Reprinted with permission from The Plant-Based Family Cookbook by Claire Swift and Sarah Biagetti, Page Street Publishing Co. 2021. Photo credit: Claire Swift
Lentil, Coconut and Spinach Dahl [Vegan]
Ingredients You Need for Lentil, Coconut and Spinach Dahl [Vegan]
For the Dahl:
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Thumb-size piece fresh ginger (20 g), grated
- 1 small fresh red chili
- 1 tablespoon (16 g) tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon (6 g) garam masala
- 11/3 cups (250 g) dried split red lentils
- 1 (14-oz [400-g]) can chopped tomatoes
- 1 (13.5-oz [380-ml]) can coconut milk
- 1 cup (150 g) fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 cup (240 ml) boiling water
- 31/3 cups (100 g) fresh spinach leaves
- 1 cup (15 g) fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Pinch salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Fresh chili slices
- Fresh sliced tomatoes
- Unsweetened vegan coconut yogurt
- Naan bread or chapatis
- Brown rice
How to Prepare Lentil, Coconut and Spinach Dahl [Vegan]
- Pour the oil into a large, deep saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until it starts to soften. Add the garlic, grated ginger, fresh chili and tomato puree and stir for 3 to 4 minutes before adding the cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, turmeric and garam masala. Allow the spices to cook through for a few minutes, until everything in the pan is soft and fragrant.
- Tip in the lentils, chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and cherry tomatoes. Crumble over the vegetable stock cube and pour in the boiling water. Stir thoroughly and bring the dahl to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid, leaving the stirring spoon in to create a small gap for the steam to escape.
- Cook for 30 minutes until the lentils have softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the spinach leaves, cilantro and lemon juice.
- Taste the dahl and add more lemon juice, if needed, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and cook until the spinach leaves have wilted. Eat straight away or enhance the flavor by cooking over low heat for 25 more minutes.
- Spoon the dahl into bowls, top with fresh cilantro leaves, a few slices of chili, slices of tomato and a dollop of coconut yogurt, and serve with your favorite flatbread or rice.
- Once the dahl is fully cooled, portion into airtight containers and store in the fridge for up to 2 days or freeze. Defrost thoroughly before reheating.
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