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Lentil dhal with aubergine

I thought I’d throw in another simple savoury recipe to interrupt the recent flow of sweet treats. Also since today is Pancake Day and I just know that I will indulge later on…I am hoping that posting a super healthy savoury recipe will go some way to in re-addressing the balance. That’s how it works, right?

So for a cheap and easy protein kick, we have…lentils.

Lentils are a little underused in my kitchen. Crazy really , since they are so versatile and so full of protein (a nice change from beans!). Similarly aubergine (eggplant) is also an unknown entity to me.

Both have been put to good use in this recipe. The simple principle of the dhal can easily be combined with other vegetables.

One of the things I like most about the dhal is that it creates a lovely moist ‘bed’ for the topping in a similar way to how rice, quinoa or cous-cous would otherwise be used. It is a lovely light meal on its own or can be combined with some carbs by way of potato or some bread on the side.

Aubergine works really well here and provides a really substantial almost meaty texture and not at all mushy (the mushiness in some recipes has put me off aubergine in the past). I added some tomatoes at the last minute which give an amazing sweetness. I served this dish with my flatbread which can be made gluten free.

This lentil exploration came about as a result of my other lentil experiments - namely this dip recipeNow I want to explore further and try out all the variations… green, brown, puy, beluga, and not just stick with the regular red split lentils that are found most commonly here. I’m also curious to see whether lentils could be used in any sweet dishes….well, chickpeas and sweet potatoes do lend themselves to the cause so why not lentils?

Watch this space!

Recipe: Lentil dhal with aubergine

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 120g red lentils
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbs curry paste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion- sliced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 cm ginger- grated
  • 1 tsp garam masala/curry powder
  • 1 medium aubergine- cut into 1cm rounds
  • Large handful of cherry tomatoes- halved

Method

Cover the lentils

turmeric and curry paste with 500ml water, add a pinch of salt. Boil for 15 minutes until the lentils soften.

Meanwhile cook the onion, garlic and ginger in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the curry powder/garam masala along with the lentil mixture and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile griddle the aubergine in a little oil plus seasoning to taste if desired. Cook for approx. 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Add the tomatoes to the griddle during the last couple of minutes cooking time.

Serve aubergine and tomatoes on a bed of the lentil dhal, with a naan/flatbread side dish for a more substantial meal.

For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.

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