Courgette and Turmeric Dal

Just a very quick post to document a lovely Sunday of eating.

We are a house of habit, and usually eat a dal on a Sunday night. It’s warm and comforting and cheap and easy. A dal also has the advantage of using up any leftover vegetables which are lingering in the fridge round the end of the week. If it’s sweet potatoes or butternut squash, then add them at the start. If it’s spinach or beans then add them at the end.

The other wonderful thing about a dal is that it’s a great way of using up a roast. As it was horrible and rainy yesterday, we bedded down early afternoon and tucked into a lunch of roast chicken legs and cabbage and gratin dauphinoise. There was one leftover chicken leg which went into the fridge for supper. All of the others were demolished - except for the bones which went into a stockpot with some bay leaves, peppercorns, salt and water.

By the time we’d laid on the sofa and watched Titanic from start to finish, the chicken stock had brewed for a good few hours, and was ready to strain and add straight to the dal. A blissful little bowl for a Sunday evening.

(serves 6)

2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
1 onion, diced
1.5 tablespoons turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 courgettes, cut into cubes
200g red lentils
850ml chicken stock
1 leftover leg of chicken (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and sweat for 5 minutes.
2. Add the tumeric, chilli powder and coriander to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes so it gently starts to cook.
3. Add the courgettes and red lentils to the pan, and cook for a further minute.
4. Ladle in 1/4 of the chicken stock, and stir until it has been absorbed
5. Pour in the rest of the stock, and leave to cook uncovered - stirring occasionally - until the liquid has all been absorbed, and the lentils are all cooked. Allow 30-45 minutes of gentle cooking, (don’t whack up the heat and try to reduce the cooking time). 
6. If you have any leftover chicken (as we did yesterday), then pull it off the bone and add to the pan at the end. Season and serve. 

Leftover dal for lunch today

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