Red lentil dhal with roasted cauliflower & butternut squash – an easy, healthy, delicious vegan meal that is good all year round! Post sponsored by Appletiser.
Dhal (or dahl or dal) is one of my go-to meals; it is easy to make, satisfying and very healthy. It is just as delicious eaten outside in the sunshine as it is when eaten wrapped up in a blanket on a cold day. Which is perfect for this awkward time of year, when the weather could go either way.
This recipe is another in my series for Appletiser – one recipe a month for a meal that is the perfect pairing with a glass of Appletiser. Just like the delicious drink my recipes are all free from added sugar and contain at least one portion of your five a day!
I like to serve this red lentil dhal with a glass of delicious Appletiser Apple and Pomegranate as I think that pomegranate works really well with the spicy flavours and the creaminess of the coconut milk – give it a try!
Red lentil dhal is very quick to make as the lentils don’t require any pre-soaking and cook fairly quickly so you can have the dish ready in around 30-40 minutes. Perfect for busy evenings!
I turn it into more of an impressive full meal by serving the red lentil dhal with cumin spiced roasted cauliflower and butternut squash. Roasting is my absolute favourite way to cook vegetables; it gives them an incredible flavour and ensures that they don’t go soggy (over-boiled mushy cauliflower is the worst!).
As well as the florets, I like to roast the cauliflower leaves too. So often they simply get thrown away but they taste great when roasted and are really good for you too; so save those leaves!
This recipe will serve six but even if you aren’t feeding that many, I still recommend making the full amount as it will keep in the fridge for a good few days and is wonderful reheated for lunches.
Serve the red lentil dhal and roasted cauliflower and butternut squash with rice, and naan bread for dipping and of course a glass of refreshing Appletiser over ice!
How to make red lentil dhal:
You start by gently frying mustard and nigella seeds until they start to ‘pop’. Add diced onion and cook until soft.
Next, add in the rest of your spices – cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric; along with ginger, garlic and red chilli.
Cook for a couple of minutes then add coconut milk, chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock and rinsed and drained red lentils.
Bring the pot up to a simmer and cook until the lentils are soft and starting to fall apart. Season well with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice to lift and balance the flavour and you are done!
Red Lentil Dhal With Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- 1 large onion peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 red chilli de-seeded and finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- one 400 g (14oz) tin chopped tomatoes
- one 400 ml (14oz) tin full-fat coconut milk
- 250 g (9oz) red lentils rinsed and drained
- 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper
Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash:
- 1 medium cauliflower chopped into small florets and leaves trimmed
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- cooked rice and naan breads to serve
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a low heat and add the mustard and nigella seeds. Cook for a couple of minutes until the seeds start to pop.
Add the onion and cook gently, stirring regularly, for about five minutes until softened.
Add the garlic, chilli, ginger, cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric and cook for another minute or two then stir in the tomatoes, coconut milk, lentils and stock.
Bring up to a gentle simmer and leave to cook, occasionally stirring , for about 20-30 minutes until the lentils are soft and stating to fall apart.
Season generously with salt and stir in the lemon juice.
While the dhal is cooking, toss the cauliflower, cauliflower leaves and butternut squash with the olive oil, curry powder, cumin seeds and some salt.
Spread out in a large roasting tray and roast for 30-40 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until tender and lightly charred.
Serve the dhal and vegetables with rice and naan breads. Leftovers keep well in the fridge.
This post is sponsored by Appletiser, thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to continue doing what I love – playing with food and making a mess of my kitchen.