1 TBSP oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
5cm / 2 inch piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp mustard seeds
250g / 9 oz / 1 1/3 cups red lentils
800ml / 27 fl oz / 3½ cups vegetable stock (broth)
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
300g / 10½ oz / 2 cups butternut squash, diced
Large handful mushrooms, chopped (optional)
50g / 2 oz / ¼ cup creamed coconut (or coconut butter), finely chopped (I use a sachet of Patak’s Creamed Coconut)
fresh coriander, for garnish
Place the lentils in a sieve and wash them under running water. Remove any pieces of grit.
Prepare the vegetable stock.
If you’re planning to serve this dish with brown rice, start cooking the rice now.
Ready, set, go!
Gently heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion until it starts to soften.
Meanwhile, chop the butternut squash and mushrooms (if using).
Add the garlic, ginger and dry spices to the pan, and stir fry for 2 minutes.
Add the lentils and mix to coat in the spices. Add the stock, tomatoes, squash, mushrooms and creamed coconut. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover, and gently simmer for 20 minutes or so until the lentils are tender. Stir towards the end of the cooking time and add a little water or stock if needed.
Serve in warm bowls with a garnish of fresh coriander, and side dishes of chapattis and/or rice.
Any leftover dhal can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or for weeks in the freezer.