Ah dhal. The food of uni students around the world. Cheap, tasty and sustaining. Somehow what a uni student wants from a meal is the same thing a mum looks for. Cheap, tasty and sustaining. Though now I think I would tac nutritious in there too. Didn’t care too much about that when I was 20.
With both Possum and myself plodding along with some kind of snot thing going on, dhal for dinner was just what the doctor/naturopath/ayurvedic specialist ordered. I was so glad I made dinner early today, as I sat with Possum while she fell asleep, and I was wiping snot onto my own sleeve. So glamorous this whole parenting thing.
Dhal was a Possum success, but not for the lentils. I learnt my lesson last time I made this for her, so added a good amount of veg cut nice and thick, easy for little Possum hands. The bonus of this is that she ends up eating lentils without actually liking or wanting to eat lentils! Mwahahahaha.
I used some onions from the garden in dinner. Now, before you go thinking that I’m some kind of gifted gardener wonder mum with butterflies resting on my shoulder while i wear my baby to garden wearing organic hemp. You couldn’t be further from the truth. I have an extensive collection of empty plant pots, half used potting mix bags, rusty garden tools and garden books in pristine condition. Full of initial enthusiasm without any skill or lasting passion (like any teen romance really). These wonderful onions that I speak of came with the house, so to speak. The place we’re living in has a lovely garden complete with raised veggie beds and fruit trees. Which I am certain I will manage to kill entirely before we move out. Sorry Pete.
No recipe link for you tonight. This was made off the top of my head… So here it goes…
Dhal for my Darl
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
4 cups water
1 Tbsp ghee, butter or coconut oil
1 large onion or two medium onions
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated (I used my microplane)
1/2 – 1 tsp garam masala
1/2 – 1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 – 1 tsp ground cumin
3 large carrots or 5 small carrots, cut into 1cm thick diagonal discs (does that make sense??)
1 large zucchini, cut into 1cm thick half crescents
2 tomatoes, thickly diced
- Place lentils and water into a medium – large saucepan and bring to the boil. Skim any muck from the surface. Lower to a simmer and add the carrots. Continue to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom.
- Meanwhile, melt ghee into a small frypan. Add your onion, spices and ginger and cook over a steady low heat to slowly soften.
- After the lentils have been cooking for 45 minutes, add the zucchini and tomato. Continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Prior to serving, stir through the onion and spice mixture. Reserve seasoning until dishes are served (only relevant if bub will be eating it too).
- Serve with rice, or naan, or in my case… buttered bagels. Surprisingly delicious! Would recommend. But make sure you smother the bagel in butter. And don’t you dare use margarine!
And now for the rating…
Vegetable and Red Lentil Dhal
Affordability : EXCELLENT. Crazy cheap.
Time Factor : EXCELLENT. One you can set up and leave to do it’s thing. Minimal prep needed. And once you know how to make this, then there’s no referring back to a recipe.
Complexity : LOW. I could make this when I was a silly 20 year old. And I can still make it as a muddled mummy.
Deliciousness : MODERATE. Sustaining goodness. The bagel helped bring this up to highly moderately delicious.
Mess : LOW. One saucepan and one little frypan. Easy.
Tummy Filling Factor : MODERATE. Glad I had the bagel. But if you had another curry alongside this it would help fill out the meal.
Possum Friendly? YES. I had to get her seconds. She gobbled up about 10 pieces of zucchini and 10 pieces of carrot. I was impressed. I wasn’t impressed with how much of the lentil curry she managed to paint through her hair though…
Would I make it again? Yes. A great one to have for when there’s nothing in the fridge or in the wallet.