This is a basic lentil dhal recipe and one of my favourite vegan dinners. If you're new to vegan cooking, this recipe would be brilliant to start with. I always use red split lentils and rinse them and soak for about 24 hours before cooking, changing the soaking water at least twice. That way the phytic acid content is reduced and the lentils are easier to digest. And did you know that lentils count towards your 7-a-day???
2 tbsp coconut oil,
1 large red onion, chopped,
300 g mushrooms (optional), sliced,
4 garlic cloves, crushed,
2 tsp ground turmeric,
2 tsp ground cumin,
250 g red split lentils, pre-soaked,
300 ml vegetable stock,
400 g can chopped tomatoes,
1 butternut squash (or 2-3 sweet potatoes), peeled and chopped into 2 cm cubes.
Heat the oil in a large casserole pan. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and spices and cook for 1 more minute.
Turn up the heat, tip in the lentils, stock, chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Bring it to the boil, then add the butternut squash (or sweet potatoes) and stir everything together. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.
Serve with brown basmati rice or quinoa, and a side salad.