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Coconut dhal with sweet potato and spinach

This was one of my recipes for pressure cooker company Instant Pot, so it was made in a pressure cooker (obvs!). BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t make it in a normal pan, it just will take a wee while longer. Still, it’ll be on the table in less than 30 minutes, I promise! 

You know when you make something very healthy, and it is mind-blowingly delicious, and you feel all happy and glow-y and joyous – that was me yesterday when I ate a big bowl of this for my lunch. 
It is creamy, and flavour-packed – and the crispy onion garnish (is it wrong to call the topping a tarka?) just really hits the spot! It’s gorgeous on its own, but it would make a superb addition to a few other curries, or even Tandoori lamb chops (my other half makes the best TLCs – I have got to post them soon – you’ll die when you taste them!)
One thing, in my last post I kind of said I was on a low FODMAP diet (to soothe my IBS like symptoms). Yeah, well, lentils (and onions and sweet potatoes) are on the high FODMAP list – unfortunately lots of healthy foods are high in FODMAPS. This nearly made me cry when I realised yesterday; I decided to enjoy it anyway. I am still laying off gluten and mammoth amounts of cows’ milk (only drinking small amounts in tea) and that alone is still helping stave off any major symptoms. I just wanted to say that, yes, I fell off the wagon – so shoot me! Back on it today. Well, mostly…

Serves: 6
Prep time: 5 minutes 
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (or coconut oil)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 thumb’s worth of ginger, peeled and diced finely
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
2 x 400g cans of coconut milk
350g red lentils
750ml vegetable stock (or water)
125g spinach
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of salt
For the garnish:
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (or coconut oil)
2 small onions, cut in half then sliced thinly
1 heaped teaspoon of ground coriander
1 tablespoon of mustard seeds
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
To serve:
Fresh coriander
Fresh chillies, chopped
  1. Heat some coconut or vegetable oil in a pan and fry the onion, garlic, ginger (and 1 or 2 chopped chillies if you want some heat) off for about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the coriander, turmeric, cumin and cook out for a few minutes until aromatic. 
  3. Tip in the sweet potato, and the lentils. 
  4. Pour in stock and 1 can of the coconut milk. Set the other one aside. 
  5. Cook the dhal until the lentils and vegetables are soft and the whole thing is silky. It should take about 20 or so minutes. 
  6. Add the spinach at the end, once the dhal is cooked, with a squeeze of lime and plenty of seasoning to taste. At this point you may wish to make it lighter, creamier and more viscous with some more coconut milk. (I reheated mine the next day and added the second can to loosen it as dhal does thicken on cooling.)
  7. To make the garnish, simply fry the coriander, mustard seeds and chilli flakes (leave these out if feeding kids) for a few minutes in oil. Then add the onions, salt and sugar. Fry until crispy. 
If making in a pressure cooker simply cook the dhal the same way, but for 5 minutes, adding the spinach just the same as above. 

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