Lentil dhal is one of those dishes you discover earlier as a vegetarian, being cheap and easy to make. Long acquaintance however brings contempt, and to be fair, there’s only so many times you can greet what is essentially ‘lentil porridge’ with enthusiasm. I’ve come up with a slightly different version, which retains all the usual ingredients, but is a little more textured and subtle.
250g red lentils
Cumin and coriander, decent tablespoonful of each
Chopped onion and chopped garlic
Either tablespoonful of ginger OR half tin of coconut milk (choose one, adding both makes the dhal rather too sweet)
In a decent-sized pan, gently fry the onion and garlic.
Add the cumin and coriander, plus the ginger (if used). Coat the onion mix thoroughly.
Separately to this, cook the lentils to softness in a saucepan. Add salt.
Drain the lentils, and add to the spiced onion mix. Cook for several minutes until all hot and well-combined. If using coconut milk, add this now to the mix and heat.
Serve. You should now have what is more along the lines of a lentil curry, than a porridgey mix.