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  • Writer's pictureEmily Yeo

Rustic Lentil Dahl

I love lentil dahl (or is it dal, dhal, daal? C’mon you and hummus/hoummus need to get some spelling consistency!). However it’ is spelt, this famous Indian dish is a real favourite in our household, and it’s about time we tried mastering it for ourselves.

I know a ton of you are in the same boat; either you work full time, are a full-time student, or just have those days when life just gets in the way. Today's vegan rustic lentil dahl is one of the best options for this. Not only is it quick – only takes under 30 minutes – but it's also inexpensive and freezes beautifully.

Dahl actually has two meanings. It's the term in India used for dried, split pulses (i.e. lentils, peas and beans), but it also refers to a variety of soups or stews made with these pulses.

Dal, daal, dhal or dahl, whatever you call it is one of my ultimate comfort foods. It also seems to be one of those polarising foods. Some people, like me, love dahl for its comforting hug in a bowl qualities, while others deride its simplicity. That and the fact that its made from lentils. But dahl’s simplicity is the main part of its charm.

There is almost nothing I love more that being away for a weekend and coming back to a fully stocked freezer. Whenever I travel, I try to clean out my fridge before I leave and yet when I get home, I just can't seem to bring myself to go to the grocery store no matter how early my arrival. So when there's nothing to eat for dinner and I don't want to order takeout (because let's be real, takeout isn't that healthy and I rarely eat as healthy while I'm away), my freezer comes to my rescue.

Having a fully stocked freezer, with meals at the ready, can be a game changer. This gloriously rustic lentil dahl is the ultimate in comfort food. Fragrant, creamy and utterly delicious this simple dahl recipe will be on the table in under 30 minutes!

The charming thing about making this simple lentil dahl recipe is the beautiful aromas that fill the air. The earthiness of cumin, the slight citrus notes of coriander seeds and the sweetness begins the act of comforting you before you even take a bite.

If you look up comfort food in the dictionary, lentil dahl is bound to be listed amongst the dishes that are good for the soul. It is warming, flavourful, full of beautiful colour and makes for a very happy belly. It is a perfect fall dish and I know it is over, but I‘m still dreaming of boots, sweaters, pumpkins and grey, rainy days.

I hesitated to do a dahl recipe for the blog for a little while, because while this well known Indian staple tastes magical, it is really hard to convey this in photographs and it so happens that visuals are my main way to communicate to you that a recipe is worth bothering with.

So this puppy is quick to make, really filling, chock-a-block full of plant protein and very versatile, so feel free to adjust the spicing or the selection of spices to your own liking. It tastes even better the day after it has been made, it re-heats well (just add a good splash of water) and freezes well so it’s one of those emergency dishes that is good to batch cook and stick into your freezer for the busy days ahead.


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