The best coconut dal should be a colourful and healthy meal. Turmeric and ginger are anti-inflammatory and therefore good for digestion, as is coconut oil, which metabolises well. Organic coconut oil is available to order alongside our veg boxes; it’s great for stir-fries and curries, or for roasting veg as it has a slightly different flavour to other oils.
Spring green and coconut dal (serves 2)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped, grated or crushed
4cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 red chilli, finely sliced
1 tsp black mustard seeds
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
100g yellow mung dal lentils, rinsed in a sieve
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
200g spring or summer greens, tough ribs removed, leaves finely shredded
handful of coriander leaves
a squeeze of lime or lemon juice
toasted coconut chips or toasted desiccated coconut, to garnish
1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pan.
2. Add the onion and fry on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Turn up the heat a little and add the garlic, ginger, chilli, mustard seeds and turmeric.
4. Stir for about 1 minute, until you hear the mustard seeds start to pop.
5. Stir the coconut milk in the can then pour into the pan with the lentils and ground coriander and cumin.
6. Fill the coconut milk can half full with water and add that too.
7. Bring up to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
8. Add the greens, stirring in small handfuls at a time, then cook for a further 5–10 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the greens wilted.
9. Keep an eye on the liquid and add more water if needed.
10. Season the dal with salt, stir in the fresh coriander and add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice to taste.
11. Serve the dal sprinkled with toasted coconut and a few extra coriander leaves.
* Use red lentils if you can’t find yellow mung dal lentils.
* Use cabbage, spinach or chard instead of the greens.
* Add a ‘tarka’, a spicy oil, to sprinkle on the top of the dal before serving for an extra kick of spice and chilli: gently heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a small pan then add 1 teaspoon each of black mustard seeds and cumin seeds, 1 finely sliced large garlic clove and a good pinch of chilli flakes and fry, stirring constantly, for 1–2 minutes until the mustard seeds are popping.
Recipe credit: www.riverford.co.uk/recipes