A good dhal can be just as warming and satisfying on a cold day as a mug of soup, and this recipe is no exception, with the added bonus of having my favourite vegetable in it – aubergines! These provide a great variety of texture as well as little explosions if taste when you find one. Also, this is very easy to make, so no excuses!
600g red split lentils, rinsed
4 tbs sunflower oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 large aubergines, cut into 2cm dice
3 tbs lemon juice
1 large bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 litre good quality vegetable stock from bouillon
1 x 400ml can of coconut milk
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Put the aubergine cubes in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and leave to soften for 20 minutes. Rinse well and drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, add the stock to the lentils and bring to the boil before simmering for 20 minutes.
3. In a large frying pan, gently dry fry the spices for 1 minute before adding the oil, garlic and onions. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the aubergines and the garam masala, stir to coat well then simmer, covered, for a further 10 minutes.
4. Add the aubergine mixture to the lentils, stir well, then add the coconut milk.
5. Simmer the mixture for a further 10 minutes. Take off the heat, add the lemon juice and coriander and serve immediately with rice or naan.