This is the type of food I crave when I'm feeling a little sniffly. In fact, I'm calling this as my vegetarian answer to chicken soup - even though it's nothing like chicken soup. Not soup and no chicken. But it's cosy food for chilly nights and runny noses, so you know what I mean. It's got lots of good things in it, and tastes like something that's bound to soothe a scrathy throat! Basically, if I've got the sniffles, someone please make me this ASAP and deliver it to my sofa with a hot water bottle and a good book. Please and thank you.

One of the things I love most about cooking is taking a bunch of pretty basic ingredients and ending up with something that tastes like this Red Lentil Dahl. The ingredients are inexpensive and hang out in most kitchen cupboards as staples. When someones says that healthy eating is expensive, my answer is always "what about lentils?". They are so cheap, you can buy them in bulk and they last for ages. A few other things worth mentioning about today's recipe. It's easy and inexpensive to make. It's cooked in one pot, meaning minimal washing-up. It's vegetarian and gluten free. And it can be vegan if you swap in coconut yogurt for the Crème fraîche.

Every so often you cook something and you just keep cooking it again and again and for me this is it. This is dinner on the days when I'm feeling too lazy to cook, but still want to cook. You know that feeling? There's a few minutes worth of prep at the start but after that it kind of tends to itself.

Keep scrolling for my Red Lentil Dahl with Crème Fraîche and make sure to add it to your Autumn/Winter recipe repertoire ASAP xx.

Red Lentil Dahl with Crème Fraîche

(serves 4)


1 tbsp coconut oil

2 onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 thumb ginger, minced

1 medium red chilli, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

300g red lentils

100g tomatoes

1 400g tin coconut milk

500ml vegetable stock

Juice of a lemon

Sea salt and black pepper

To serve

Small handful fresh coriander

1/2 cup crème fraîche


Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook on a low heat for ten minutes until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for a further two minutes.

Grind the coriander and cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar and add them along with the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric to the saucepan. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir and cook for two minutes.

using a sieve, rinse the red lentils and add them to the saucepan and stir. Add the coconut mil and stock and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer over a low heat until the mixture has thickened. This should take 15-20 minutes.

Season with sea salt and black pepper and the juice of a lemon. To serve, spoon on to plates, add some chopped coriander and a spoon of crème fraîche.

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DESIGNED BY Frances Walsh 

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