This recipe for red lentil dhal with spinach fritters is the latest in a monthly series of recipes I have created in association with Suma Wholefoods. In these recipes, I use products from Suma’s extensive range of organic and ethically sourced products, and the recipes appear both here on my blog and on the Suma website.
This lovely dhal could be a meal in itself but it works beautifully as a backdrop to the spicy spinach fritters.
red lentil dhal with spinach fritters
for the spinach fritters
150 g organic spinach, washed, drained and chopped
1 onion finely sliced
180 g gram (chickpea) flour
30 g rice flour
1 green chilli, seeds in, finely chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
15 g fresh coriander, chopped
for the red lentil dhal
200 g organic red lentils, rinsed well in a sieve and drained
1 x 400 g can organic chopped tomatoes
1 x 400 g can organic coconut milk
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red chilli, seeds in, chopped
2 cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sea salt
500 ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1. Begin by making the dhal. Put the garlic, ginger and chilli into a pestle and mortar or food processor and blend to a paste. Pour the oil into a large pan and place over a high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for five minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent.
2. Stir in the chilli, garlic and ginger paste along with the salt, turmeric and garam masala, then add the lentils, chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock. Stir and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for a further 20 minutes, by which time the dhal will have thickened. Stir in the coconut milk and remove the pan from the heat. Set to one side while you prepare the spinach fritters.
3. For the spinach fritters, place the gram flour, rice flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add 200 ml fresh cold water and whisk into a smooth batter. Stir in the chopped chilli and turmeric, followed by the spinach, onion and chopped coriander.
4. Gently reheat the dhal, stirring every so often. Pour sunflower oil into a large deep sided pan to a depth of 5cm and place over a high heat. Once the oil is really hot carefully lower tablespoonfuls of the spinach fritter batter into the pan. Cook the fritters in small batches to avoid crowding the pan. Once they are crisp and golden all over, remove the fritters from the hot oil with a slotted spoon. Drain on kitchen paper.
5. To serve, place a generous helping of red lentil dhal onto each plate together with a few spinach fritters.