One of the things that I love about living in Australia is the diversity of food. Indian food is a great example of this. Where in Australia the humble Indian feast is passed over as an everyday food option this is was not the case throughout my childhood in Texas.
Indian food has a great, comforting quality about it – warm (temperature and spice), hearty, filled with vegi-licious goodness. Indian food can be really wholesome and hearty – an added benefit from a tasty international treat!
My favourite of all Indian fare is the humble and often overlooked Dhal. Dhal comes in many forms, however is always host to the lowly lentil. Wait!!! Don’t stop reading yet, lentils do not have to be that sludgy, tasteless conglomeration many of endured when visiting our ‘healthy’ friends. Lentils can, I promise, be a great addition to a meal – adding fiber, protein, foliate, magnesium and iron, plus they can taste great. An added benefit of cooking with lentils, especially red lentils, which I’ve used in this recipe, is that they’re quick. The recipe below will only take approx 30-40 minutes including prep time!
Keen on giving the simple lentil ago? This dhal is simple and straightforward. Spice levels can be altered depending on taste as can the types of spices included.
Cauliflower & Spinach Dhal
- 1 Brown Onion
- 2 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
- 2Tsp Turmeric
- 1Tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1Tsp Caraway Seeds
- 1Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2-3Tsp Curry Powder
- 500G Red Lentils
- 1 Can Chili Beans (or kidney beans)
- 1 Cauliflower Head
- 100-150G Frozen Spinach (or Fresh)
- Toast spices in a fry pan (with no oil) until spices become fragrant and mustard seeds began to pop
- Using a mortar and pestle, and grind to form a powder
- Meanwhile fry onion in approx. 2Tbsp olive oil (I make my own chili infused olive oil), adding garlic once onion is soft, followed by red lentils, chili beans and spice mix
- After lentils are well coated with oil and spice mix add approx 2 1/2L of water (more water can be added as needed)
- Cut/break cauliflower into pieces and add to lentil mix.
- Defrost spinach, removing excess water and adding to lentil mix (if using fresh spinach, wait and add at the end of the cooking process)
- Cook covered for 15-20 minutes or until lentils and cauliflower are cooked.
- Season to taste, adding salt, pepper, curry powder where necessary
- Serve with rice (white or brown), naan, chapati and/or papadums
Additional Ingredients which may be included depending on taste and availability
- 1-2Tsp Cumin (ground) – toasted with other spices
- 10 Fresh or dried curry leaves – added with spice mix to the pot
- Red Chili (dried powder or fresh) – to taste – toasted with other spices (dried) or added with onion (fresh)
- Replace Red Lentils with Yellow Split Peas, Green or French Lentils(cooking time will very)
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