I wonder sometimes that my recipes are getting too long and that you may be too pushed for time to give them a go, so this week I am going to keep it simple. First up a really delicious Coconut and Spinach Channa Dal. Although it takes an hour or so for the chickpeas to cook, the prep time is minimal and the result super satisfying.
Coconut and Spinach Channa Dal
You do not have to use chickpeas (Channa). If you prefer you could make Moong Dal (split yellow lentils), Toor Dal (yellow pigeon peas), Masoor Dal (red lentils), Urad Dal (split black lentils) or Mung Dal (mung beans). You could cook this in the slow-cooker.
1 cup (235g) yellow split peas (Channa Dal)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
2 large handfuls of spinach, stem and main veins removed
½ tin of coconut milk
4 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
small bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and the onion. Fry gently for about 10 minutes until just beginning to caramelise and add the ginger. Cook for a minute more. Add the spices and briefly fry. Add the channa and about 3 cups (600mls) water and salt and bring to the boil. Cover and cook very slowly on the stove top for an hour or so. I like my dal to have a little texture but it is up to you. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the spinach and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and spread out on to a clean dry tea towel to quickly cool. When cool, use the tea towel to squeeze out the excess water and roughly chop the spinach. When the chickpeas are cooked to your liking, add a couple of tablespoons of the creamiest part of the coconut milk and the spinach. Stir well and adjust seasoning. Add the freshly chopped coriander.
In a little saucepan put the last tablespoon of coconut oil and add the garlic slithers. Heat over a medium heat until the garlic is golden brown. Remove immediately and spoon straight over the dal. Do not leave the garlic in the saucepan for long as it will carry on cooking and may burn.