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Easy Coconut & Spinach Chana Dal with Pan Roasted Broccoli

Easy Coconut & Spinach Chana Dal with Pan Roasted Broccoli

I make Dal for supper regularly - at least once a month. It's delicious, healthy and so easy, particularly if I'm busy. It takes no time to get this recipe going and after an hour or so when you're ready to stop and eat, it's done. It's also great when you've not had much time for shopping - you just need a few fresh ingredients.

I dare say that my dal recipe is not a classic technique (just putting that out there) but it's so tasty that I don't care! Most of the different types of split dal that we sell at Somerset Foodie will work here, so you can easily interchange with red split lentils, moong dal, toor dal, I'm using chana dal which are spilt chickpeas (slightly different from the chickpeas you get in tins) they have a lovely flavour and are full of fibre and goodness. They take a little longer to cook than some other dal and it's best to soak them for at least an hour before cooking (up to 4 hours).

This recipe also work with most of our Karimix curry pastes, I've used the madras curry paste, but the korma, jalfrezi, biryani or rogan josh would also be great.

Recipe for Easy Coconut & Spinach Chana Dal with Pan Roasted Broccoli
Serves 4

For the dal
300g chana dal, washed and soaked in cold water for 1 hour
1 medium onion, diced
120g Karimix madras curry paste
400ml coconut milk
1ltr chicken or vegetable stock
300g spinach
50g desiccated coconut, toasted under the grill (optional)
A pinch of salt
Rapeseed Oil for frying
For the roasted broccoli
200g tender stem or purple sprouting broccoli
Rapeseed Oil and butter for frying

To garnish
Momoya crispy garlic oil

1. In a heavy cast iron casserole pot, heat some oil and fry the diced onion for around 3-4 minutes, until the pieces begin to caramelise.

2. Now add the curry paste and continue frying for another couple of minutes.

3. Drain the soaked chana dal and tip it into the pot, stirring to combine with the spices from the curry paste.

4. Now pour in the chicken stock and the coconut milk, add a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer. Partially cover with a lid, turn down the heat and simmer gently for around hour and a quarter. Checking that it hasn't dried out and stirring every 10-15 minutes.

Everybody has a slightly different preference on how thick they like their dal, you want the dal to be soft but not actually breaking down. If you need to, top up with more water, particularly if you like your dal more soupy than thick pottage.

5. If using desiccated coconut, toast this under the grill until golden (keep your eye on it, desiccated coconut will burn in an instant in the same way that pine nuts do). And tip this into the dal for the last 10 - 15 minutes of cooking.

6. About 10 minutes before serving, heat a frying pan with 2-3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil and fry the broccoli with a pinch of salt. Once it has a little colour, add in a few splashes of hot water - the pan will crackle and create a little steam to help cook the broccoli through. You may have to repeat the process a second time until the broccoli is 'al dente', but try to let the frying process do the lions share of the cooking. Once the broccoli is nearly ready, finish with a nob of butter in the pan.

7.  While you've got the broccoli in the pan, tip the spinach leaves into the dal and mix them through. It will take no time to wilt down. Turn the heat off, the heavy pot will keep the dal warm for 5 minutes or so, it's also best eaten when it's not boiling hot.

8. When everything is ready, spoon some of the dal into bowls, top with the broccoli and drizzle plenty of Momoya chilli over.

Tip: It's also great served with one of our heavenly paratha breads

Enjoy! Foodies, don't forget to tag us @Somerset.foodie if you make this at home and leave a review below if you enjoyed making this recipe. Ben


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