Split mung dhal
Lentils always make for a comforting dinner and, even though it’s the middle of summer, the endless rain and grey skies mean this was a pretty suitable meal this evening.
They’re incredibly easy to make and a great option for a last minute, store cupboard meal. You can have it ready in half an hour, and it’s lovely with rice or chapattis. Or if that’s too carb heavy, try a soupy version eaten with a vegetable-based side dish (in today’s case curried spinach - cooked in the same way as here but without the paneer).
Split mung dhal (makes about 4 portions)
1.5 cups split mung beans
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 or 2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, grated
2cm ginger, grated
Rinse the lentils a few times in cold water, in the same way as you would rice.
Add to a saucepan with 3 cups of water and boil. They’ll take about 20 minutes to cook. If the water runs low, top it up with hot water from the kettle.
When they’re almost cooked, start preparing your spice mix.
In another saucepan, heat two tablespoons of oil and throw in the mustard and cumin seeds. When they start to pop, stir in the onions.
By now the lentils should be cooked so take them off the heat. If there’s too much water in there and it’s soupier than you’d like, drain some of the water off. Set the lentils aside.
When the onions are just starting to brown, add the chillies, ginger, garlic, dried spices and salt. Give it all a mix and fry for a few seconds.
Then it’s just a case of stirring in the lentils so that you’ve got a lovely spicy dhal. Check it’s seasoned to your liking.
Let it cook for a further 5 minutes so that everything is nicely combined.