Dahl is a staple throughout India, Sri Lanka and parts of Asia. It’s high in fibre and protein, is low in fat and, when cooked properly, is absolutely packed full of flavour.
Normally served as a side dish with curries rice and chutney’s, today we are using it as a sauce, albeit a very substantial one.
Rather than grating or slicing cucumber into yoghurt to make a traditional raita, why not deconstruct it. Slice a continental cucumber, add a hint of lemon juice and garlic to the yoghurt and tip over the cucumber sticks. Add mint and coriander, nigella seeds and some flaked chillies and voila!
Dhal is a simple dish and you can pair it with a curry or some grilled chicken or prawns. For a vegetarian option, consider adding lots of spinach and other greens like beans and snow peas. You can also include paneer, an Indian hard cheese, a little like haloumi in texture. We’ve used salmon today to add richness and those gleaming Omega’s!
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
- 1 tbs ghee
- 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 medium sized tomato,diced
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp cardamom, ground
- ½ tsp turmeric, ground
- ½ tsp cumin, ground
- ½ tsp ginger, ground
- 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed, drained
- 4cm piece fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 3-4 cups warm water
- 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, including roots
- Sea salt
In the food processor place garlic, chillies, tomato, onions, spices, half the fresh ginger and the cleaned roots and stems of the coriander and process with a little water or oil until you have a paste.
Fry the paste on a low heat until aromatic (about 10 minutes). Add red lentils, water and simmer for about 30 minutes or until you have the desired consistency.
To serve, stir in lemon juice, coconut milk and the rest of the fried ginger and coriander leaves.
Cardamon Rubbed Salmon
- 1 tbs ghee
- 2 fillets salmon
- 1 tsp cardamom, ground
- 1 tsp fresh ginger
- salt and pepper
Mix cardamom and ginger together and place in a plastic snaplock bag. Add salmon fillets, seal and shake vigorously. Heat ghee in a frying pan until bubbling. Pat the salmon dry and add to the pan. Cook until golden, only flip once, and remove from the pan before the salmon is cooked through. Season to taste.
Place over heated dhal, garnish with lemon and coriander and serve with basmati rice and a deconstructed cucumber raita.
FUN SPICE FACT
Spices aren’t just delicious, they’re good for you, often in unexpected ways. Turmeric (which gives a vibrant yellow colour to your curries, casserole and dahl’s) is said to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and you can eat it in just about anything.
Ginger calms the stomach and aids digestion. Combine the two in a cup of boiling water and make a delicious tea to start off every day well.
Here is a link to the health benefits to other herbs and spices – http://tinyurl.com/nk6plwa