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Like any proper Indian dish, this one puts your spice cabinet to good use. And thanks to your homemade garlic naan, you can scoop up every last bite of spicy goodness without hassling a spoon.

You will need

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 brown onion
  • 5 cardamom pods, lightly pounded
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups dried yellow split peas, rinsed well
  • 400 g tin whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, chopped

Garlic Naan

  • 1 tablespoon dairy free margarine
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup coriander leaves, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup soy milk (or plant milk of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

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30 mins to prep

50 mins to cook

  1. Step 1

    Heat oil in a large nonstick saucepan and sauté onion over low heat for 10 minutes, or until soft. Add cardamom pods and cinnamon stick and stir for 1 minute. Then stir in cumin seeds, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt and mix together for 1 minute. Finally add turmeric, ground coriander, curry and chilli powder and stir for a further 1-2 minutes, until spices release their flavour.

  2. Step 2

    Add split peas and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes, taking care not to let them stick to the pan. Stir in tomatoes and vegetable stock* until well combined, then bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft, adding a little more stock or water if needed.

  3. Step 3

    While the dhal is simmering, make the naan. Melt margarine in a small nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Fry the garlic and coriander for about 30 seconds, until garlic becomes aromatic. Set aside.

  4. Step 4

    Combine remaining naan ingredients in a bowl, then add 1/2 cup water, and mix into a soft dough using your hands, adding more flour if needed to bring the dough together. Knead the dough gently until soft and pliable.

  5. Step 5

    Break dough into 8-10 smaller balls. On a flour-dusted surface, roll out each ball into a flat circle about 5 mm thick, stacking them between sheets of baking paper so they don’t stick together.

  6. Step 6

    Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium to high heat. Place a dough circle in the pan; bubbles will start to form. After 1-2 minutes, flip and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown in patches. Remove from pan and place on a sheet of foil. Lightly brush with the sautéed garlic mixture, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and close the foil over the naan to keep it warm. Repeat with remaining naan breads. You can keep them warm in a low oven, wrapped in foil, until ready to serve.

  7. Step 7

    Just before serving, stir the lemon juice and coriander leaves through the dhal. Serve with the warm naan breads.

Hot tip!

*Adjust the amount of stock depending on how thick or soupy you like your dhal.

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