It was one of those “there’s no food in the house” moments.  Always a time when you’ve to think beyond your usual repertoire of recipes and get inventive.  So a search in the back of the pantry for inspiration and I came across a packet of Chana Dal.

This could just as easily be made with red lentils.  Likewise split pea, sweet potato, or beans and veg of other variations could be added or used instead of Chana Dal.  It’s really easy to make, very wholesome, and tastes great of course.

This version was mild in heat, so if you like it hotter get more generous with the chili.

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What you need…

  • 2 cups Chana Dal (or red lentils)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 small red onions
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp curry paste (I used Korma)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes
  • fresh coriander to garnish

How to do it…

Cook your Chana Dal (or Red Lentils) as per the packet instructions.

Using a large pan add the vegetable oil and your chopped onions on a medium heat and allow to soften for about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, measure your curry powder, garlic powder, ginger powder, turmeric, chili powder, cumin, sugar and salt and throw together in a bowl keeping to one side.

When your onions are soft, add the curry paste and your spices and cook for 1-3min before adding the tin of chopped tomato and the tomato puree.

Reduce heat and simmer for 20mins.  Add your cherry tomatoes and cook until they begin to split, about 5 mins.

Remove from the heat and stir in your cooked and drained Dal (or lentils).

Sprinkle chopped fresh coriander on the top and your done.

Add some poppadoms on the side and a dollop of yoghurt to really finished it off.

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