Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Healthy comfort food: Root vegetable dhal

on January 16, 2012

Continuing with the health kick but in need of some comfort as I had a bit of a cold, I thought I’d do something with lentils.  And as you know, I love dhal and I had left over veges from my Christmas vege box that I didn’t know  what to do with, so this seemed like the perfect answer.

My original inspiration came from here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1364/spicy-root-and-lentil-casserole

But to me, this isn’t a casserole, it’s dhal, and I ate it with chappatis.  I kept it more or less the same as the recipe, but substituted the parsnips for swede as that’s what I had and it turned out very well.  And I added a tin of tomatoes and some tomato puree and reduced the amount of stock used.  Also, the recipe makes way more than 4 portions.  I’d say at least 6.  So it’s great for freezing for another day when you dont’ want to cook.

I checked the calories for 6 servings on my recipe and it comes to 292 calories, so this is a very tasty, very filling ,very healthy, very comforting meal – absolutely perfect for January!  It’s also high in vitamins A &C – so great for boosting your immune system, high in calcium and iron as well.  Very low in fat and high in fibre.  Bonus!

Root vegetable dhal

Serves 6

  • 2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2inch piece root ginger, grated
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped or 1 tsp chilli powder (leave out if you don’t want too spicy)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp curry paste (I used pataks jalfrezi paste as that’s what I had – or substitute for madras hot curry powder)
  • 700g potatoes, peeled and small cubed
  • 4  carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 swede, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 100g red lentils
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • salt & pepper
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok on high.
  2. Add the onions and garlic, frying until the onion starts to brown.
  3. Then add the chilli and garlic and fry for a further minute.
  4. Add the dried spices, mixing well to combine for another minute or until they start to smell fragrant.
  5. Then add the curry paste, breaking it up with the spoon or spatula.
  6. Add the veges and turn the heat down to medium.  Stir well to coat with the spice mix and fry for a few minutes until they start to soften.
  7. Then add the lentils, mixing in well with the spices.
  8. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the spatula, if they aren’t already.  Then add the tomato puree and the stock.
  9. Mix well, turn up the heat until it starts to boil.
  10. Then turn down the heat to a low simmer and leave to simmer, stiring occasionally to prevent sticking, for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are mushy and the vegetables are cooked through.  Add extra water if it starts to get too dry.
  11. Add the salt, pepper and coriander to taste and bubble of any additional water until you have quite a thick sauce.
  12. Serve with naans or chapattis and enjoy!
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