CRISPY SWEET POTATO DAHL, CAULIFLOWER RICE & COCONUT CHUTNEY
I've spent a lot of time in India and the tastes in this recipe take me back every time. Dahl is pure nourishment on a cold or warm evening, with its warming spices and hint of chilli. Making a big batch of dahl is my staple on a Monday, as it freezes well and most of the time tastes better re-heated. I've chosen cauliflower rice here as an alternative - a favourite in the rooted kitchen - and a lighter alternative to rice, which alongside lentils can be quite heavy. The trio of tastes and textures here serves for a dish you'll come back to time and time again
FOR THE SWEET POTATOES
2 sweet potatoes, skins on, washed and roughly chopped into 2cm cubes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seeds
FOR THE DHAL
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
200g red lentils
1 × 400ml tin of coconut milk
400ml vegetable stock
2 large handfuls of spinach
a bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped, stalks and all
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves
Head of 1 cauliflower
FOR THE COCONUT CHUTNEY
50g unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
a little vegetable or coconut oil
a 20g piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 red chilli, finely chopped
Preheat your oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Pour 150ml of boiling water over the coconut and leave to soak.
Put your sweet potatoes on a roasting tray and add a good pinch of salt and pepper, the cumin and fennel seeds and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20–25 minutes, until soft in the middle and crispy brown on the outside.
In a large pan, add the garlic, ginger, chilli and red onion in coconut oil for until soft and sweet. Add all the spices to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes to toast and release the oils. Add the lentils, coconut milk and stock to the pan and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down and simmer for around 25–30 minutes.
Grate the cauliflower and chop the garlic. Add to a frying pan with a good dollop of coconut oil. Add two tablespoons warm water and add a lid. Reduce the heat and then cook for 10 minutes until it’s steamed through. Add seasoning.
Drain the coconut and add to a bowl. Fry the mustard seeds and curry leaves in a tablespoon coconut oil until they begin to crackle, then pour the mixture over the coconut. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the ginger and chilli and give it a good mix.
Take the dahl off the heat and then stir in the spinach and allow it to wilt a little, stirring in half the chopped coriander and the lime juice too.
Add to bowls and top with the crispy sweet potatoes, spoonfuls of the coconut chutney and the remaining coriander.