Coconut and lentil Dhal with toasted almonds


This is my favourite lentil dish! Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. Once you have stocked up on all the spices & herbs, it’s just lentils, coconut milk and some veg.
Try this dish on a meat free Monday. Lentils are an excellent source of cholesterol lowering fibre. Not only do they help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood sugar levels since their high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. This way you stay fuller for longer and avoid those sugary snack cravings.

Ingredients (4 people)
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
2.5cm/1 in fresh root ginger, grated
2 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup red split lentils (soak for an hour before cooking)
2/3 cups of water
2/3 cups of coconut milk (or half bar organic creamed coconut)
5 tomatoes, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup flaked almonds, toasted

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Saute the onion for 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, carrot, cumin and mustard seeds, and
2. ginger. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring until the seeds being to pop and the carrot softens slightly.
3. Stir in the ground tumeric, chilli powder and garam masala, and cook for 1 minute or until the flavours begin to mingle, stirring to prevent the spices burning.
4. Add the lentils, water, coconut milk and tomatoes, and season well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils sticking.
5. Stir in the lime juice and 3 tbsp of the fresh coriander, and then check the seasoning. Cook for a further 15 minutes until the lentils soften and become tender. To serve, sprinkle with the remaining coriander and the flaked almonds.

Serving suggestions: basmati, wild rice or quinoa