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Lemon chilli lentils

This is basically a dhal, but the clear lemon+chilli flavour makes it a bit different from the curry flavour when you make a dhal usually. If you're not comfortable with hot chilli, reduce the amounts in here. Serves 2.

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, chopped into matchsticks
  • 3 or 4 small hot chillis, chopped up
  • a small squirt of garlic paste
  • 1 cup yellow lentils
  • 1 lemon
  • handful fresh parsley

Heat some oil in a non-stick saucepan which has a lid. Chuck the cumin seeds in and let them fry quickly until they darken and smell fragrant. Add the diced onion and the chilli, stir briefly, and add the garlic paste and the carrot.

Add the lentils, stir, then add enough boiling water to cover and give maybe another half-to-one centimetre depth of covering. Chop the lemon in half, squeeze out its juice and add it to the pan.

Stir. Put the lid on the pan, turn the heat right down, and let it bubble gently for about half an hour. Stir it at some point during this time.

When it's ready it should be pretty dry - it will be in danger of sticking to the pan, which is why I sid use a non-stick pan. Stir it round, sprinkle in the fresh parsley and maybe a bit of garam masala too.

Serve with a couple of hot chapattis per person.

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