Recipe excerpt: Homegrown Kitchen by Nicola Galloway
Published by: Potton & Burton

Note from Nourish: Nicola has used bone broth in this recipe but this can easily be changed out for vegetable stock to make it a vegetarian dish.

I make this dhal often during the cooler months to fight off winter bugs, as it is loaded with onion, garlic and ginger. Although the list of ingredients is long, they are all readily available pantry staples.

There are a couple of important elements to this recipe – the caramelised onions, which add sweetness but also thicken the dhal, and the garam masala, which adds depth to the flavour and completes the dish perfectly.

If you prefer a tomato-based dhal, simply swap the coconut cream for 400g chopped fresh or canned tomatoes.


1 cup / 200g split red lentils
6 whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 cups / 500ml water, stock or bone broth
400ml can coconut cream
1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
3cm knob fresh ginger, finely grated
3–4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons garam masala
½ teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lime + extra wedges for serving
handful roasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped
chopped coriander to serve

If time permits, soak the red lentils for 2–3 hours. Drain in a sieve and rinse thoroughly. In a saucepan, combine the lentils, spices and water/stock. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the coconut cream and simmer for a further 15 minutes, by which stage the lentils should be soft and cooked.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare the onions. Heat a heavy based frying pan over a low heat. Add the ghee/oil and saute the onions over a low heat until golden brown and caramelised. Stir them often, making sure they don’t burn. This will take about 30–35 minutes and the onions will reduce in size substantially. Tip the onions onto a chopping board and chop finely. Stir them through the lentils along with the ginger, garlic, chilli, garam masala and salt.

Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Check seasoning and adjust as needed.

Serve the dhal garnished with cashew nuts and chopped coriander. Accompany with cooked basmati rice and a bowl of natural yoghurt (dairy or coconut).

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