Lazy dahl


I call it ‘lazy’ because I’ll sometimes use frozen chopped onions, garlic, ginger and chilli, and skip the toasting of the spices (just substituting an equivalent amount of ground spices). It does save time and reduce all of the chopping. However, using fresh ingredients and taking that little bit of extra time really does produce better flavour, so I’ll leave it with you to decide. It freezes well.

serves 2


½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and
finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 red chilli, deseeded and
finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
200g dried red lentils, rinsed until
the water runs clear, and drained
1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
500ml vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
2 handfuls of washed fresh
spinach or 2 blocks of frozen
juice of ½ a lemon
a handful of fresh
coriander leaves



Heat a large pan over a medium heat and gently toast the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mustard seeds start to pop. Tip them out of the pan, and then lightly grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.

Put the coconut oil into the hot pan, then add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook gently for 5 minutes over a low heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for a further few minutes. Add the freshly ground spices, along with the turmeric and garam masala, and cook for 1 minute.

Finally, add the lentils, coconut milk and vegetable stock, and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes with the lid on, then 10 minutes with the cover off to allow it to thicken.

Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Just before serving, add the spinach and stir until it wilts, then squeeze in the lemon juice and top with fresh coriander leaves.

This recipe is taken from Amelia’s 4th book, Simply Good For You, published 2019 by Michael Joseph

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