Butternut and kaffir lime dahl
When the cooler and earlier evenings set in, I start to favour more warming meals like curries, casseroles, and soup. This is a delicious vegetarian dahl (a mild lentil curry) with warming ginger and spices is perfect to take the edge of the cooler temperatures at the end of the day.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- ginger 3cm piece peeled and grated or finely chopped
- 2 small kaffir lime leaf or 1 large, tough central stem removed, finely sliced
- 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, garam masala
- 400 ml can coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup dried split red lentils
- 500 g butternut peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
- 3 tomatoes roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground chilli optional
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon juiced
- 120 g spinach or silverbeet chopped (optional)
- ½ cup natural unsweetened yoghurt use coconut yoghurt for dairy-free
- ¼-½ cup coriander leaves and stalks
- ⅓ cup roasted cashew nuts chopped (optional)
- Heat oil in a large fry pan or pot on medium heat, cook onion for 4-5 minutes until golden. Add garlic, ginger and kaffir lime and cook for 1 minute. Add another drizzle of oil and spices and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add about ¼ – ½ cup of the coconut milk and stir to prevent spices burning.
- Stir in remaining coconut milk, tomato paste, water, lentils, butternut, tomatoes, chilli (if using), sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover partially and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes, or until lentils and butternut are soft. Stir a few times during cooking to make sure lentils don’t burn and stick to bottom of the pan. Add a little extra water if it looks like it is drying out too much.
- Stir spinach or silverbeet (if using) through dahl at the end, and season with lemon juice and more salt to taste if needed.
- Garnish dahl with yoghurt, coriander and cashew nuts (optional), and serve with steamed rice.
Split red lentils are a staple in my kitchen during Autumn and Winter – a handful added to soups and curries makes the meal go further without much cost, and adds a healthy dose of soluble fibre, vitamins and minerals. This dahl would be easy to serve dairy-free/vegan – just swap out the yoghurt for coconut yoghurt when you come to serve.