A spicy dhal combining red lentils, coconut, zesty lime and chilli
Place the lentils in a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for 10 minutes
Dry fry the cashew nuts in a frying pan over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. you want them lightly golden. Toss the pan regularly as you don't want the nuts to burn. When cool, chop roughly and set aside for later.
Finely grind the peppercorns, cumin, coriander seeds and cloves in a mortar and pestle. Then mix in the ground cinnamon and tumeric.
Heat the butter or oil in a large casserole or saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger. Cook gently for 5 - 15 minutes until softened. I like to add my garlic when the onions have already begun to soften so that it doesn't burn.
Add the spice mix and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Stir the spices into the onion mix so that it gets well incorporated.
Add the tinned tomatoes, caster sugar, salt and coconut milk and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Rinse the lentils well and add them to the casserole or pan. Allow to simmer while adding the stock. Stir from time to time to prevent the contents from sticking to the bottom. Cook on a medium heat until the lentils are soft. This will take around 20 minutes.
Add the lime juice and stir to combine.
When you dish up, sprinkle the dhal with the chopped coriander leaves, coconut flakes and chopped cashew nuts.
I served the dhal with a pot of brown basmati but you could also serve it with Indian flatbreads.
A delicious recipe for red lentil dhal with coconut, lime and tomato