Coconut, Lentil and Chard Dal
2 - 3 people
1 dessert spoon coconut oil
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
2 dried Thai red chillies
½ teaspoon powdered fenugreek
A couple of twists of salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
250 g red lentils
400 millilitre can of coconut milk
400 millilitres vegetable stock
250 g swiss chard leaves (stalks removed)
The main thing with this dish is to make sure you have thoroughly washed the lentils, otherwise you will have digestive issues. Best to place the lentils in a very large bowl, cover with double the amount of water and wash using your hands. Rinse into a sieve, place back in the bowl and repeat until the water is clear when you wash the lentils (usually about 5-6 times when I do it). When done, leave to drip dry in the sieve.
When done, peel and grate the ginger then set aside. Peel, top and tail the carrot before grating and then set aside. Wash the chard leaves, use a knife to cut out the stalk in the centre and then chop into strips, then set aside. Continue by heating a dry frying pan and toasting the chillies, cumin and coriander seeds until they start to smoke or pop, then grind to a fine powder in a grinder or pestle and mortar. Now you are ready to cook.
Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan and, when hot, add the ginger and carrot then stir fry for one minute. Add the lentils, ground spices and a twist of salt and pepper, then add the coconut milk, chard and stock and stir thoroughly. Bring to a simmer and place a lid on top, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 15 minutes the lentils should have soaked up the moisture and you are ready to serve.