Ah, dhal, you tasty beaut. I’m craving your hearty, wholesome flavour.
Dhal’s ingredients are cheap, healthy, and easy to source plastic free. This is Jeanette’s version: maximum flavour, minimum fuss.
Jeanette is a basket-maker, traditional craftsperson and member of The Craft Collective. She’s also an amazing vegetarian chef for hire.
Find her at Weaving Wild.
This is one of the beautiful recipes Jeanette let me pilfer when we worked together at the EarthSpirit Centre in Somerset, and she’s kindly let me share it with you.
I made one tiny variation to make this a plastic free recipe (aka, a recipe that you can make from ingredients that are fairly easy to source without packaging – red lentils, onions, garlic, root ginger, desiccated coconut, and spices). The coconut makes it creamy, and rather than buying a tin or a carton of coconut milk, I like to whizz up desiccated coconut with a bit of water in my food processor for a makeshift cream.
This is a great recipe to share with friends. It’s a perfect, warming dish for chilly nights. Serve with wild rice, and for a boost of protein, swirl in some spinach or wild nettle leaves at the end.
Hint: if your digestion isn’t great and you sometimes struggle with lentils, make sure you cook this really well. The lentils should be falling apart when you finally tuck in (thanks to Francis from A Mate’s Guide for that tip).
I made one tiny variation to make this a plastic-free recipe (aka, a recipe that you can make from ingredients that are easy to source without packaging – red lentils, onions, garlic and root ginger, desiccated coconut, and spices).
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 cups red lentils (rinsed)
- 4 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 2 tsps garam masala
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 bunch fresh coriander / 1 tsp ground coriander (roughly chopped)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 inch fresh ginger (grated)
- 1 bunch fresh spinach or nettles leaves (if desired)
Soften the onion in the coconut oil on a medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan.
Add the garlic and ginger, and fry for another few minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the spices and stir in for a couple of minutes.
Add the rinsed lentils to the pan and stir; follow with a cup of water.
Now you’ll need to cook the lentils down until they’re soft, adding a little more water each time the lentils get dry.
When the lentils are soft and crumbly, blend the desiccated coconut with a dash of water in a food processor, and stir.
If desired, you can add fresh spinach or wild foraged nettle leaves at this stage, along with the chopped coriander.
Serve with wild rice and a side salad.
Big ❤ to Jeanette…
…for sharing this recipe with me, and with Plastic Free Spirit readers!
Basket-maker + kick-ass veggie chef for hire
Jeanette teaches wild weaving and basketry courses in North Wales. Find her at Weaving Wild.