Spinach & Coconut Dal with Golden Halloumi & Spiced Seeds

PREP TIME: 20mins

COOKING TIME: mins

Creamy lentils smothered in a vibrant sauce made with greens cooked in fragrant onions and served with golden halloumi. 

A clever way to eat all your greens and healthy fibre in one meal! 

I opted to cook my own lentils, I prefer the texture, but you can easily use two cans instead. 

Ghee is clarified butter and is often used in Indian cooking. The butter is melted and the milk solids are removed making it lactose free but not vegan. It adds a lovely caramel and nutty flavour which I love. 

Feel free to swap the halloumi for tofu if vegan or dairy free. I prefer the taste of smoked tofu rather than plain tofu. 

Serves 4 with leftovers. 

Serving Suggestion:

Would be amazing served with quick yogurt naan breads. I added some toasted spiced seeds over the halloumi. Simply add a pinch ground coriander and cumin to 3 tablespoons pumpkin or sunflower seeds, drizzle with oil and season with salt, either fry in a small pan until golden or pop in the oven on 180c for 5-7 minutes until golden.

What you'll need:

A high-speed blender for the spinach sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 1 green chilli, seeds removed if sensitive to heat, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 400g spinach/chard, washed
  • 15g mint/coriander, leaves only
  • 4 cups cooked brown lentils (or two cans, drained)
  • 150ml coconut milk
  • salt & pepper

Halloumi/Tofu

  • 200g halloumi, sliced into croutons.
  • 4/5 tablespoons mango chutney (opt)

Method:

  1. If making the halloumi, add the halloumi to bowl along with enough chutney to coat lightly. Set aside. You can totally leave the halloumi plain as well.
  2. Melt the ghee in a large saucepan with a lid, add the fennel, mustard and cumin seeds, cook until fragrant, 3 minutes or until the mustard seeds gently start to pop. Add the onions and 1 teaspoons salt and cook, covered until onions are soft.
  3. Add the chilli, garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant, 3 minutes, now add the garam masala and stir until fragrant. The mixture will look very dry at this stage.
  4. Start adding the spinach, in batches, stirring the onions to the top, add 2 tablespoons water adding a fresh batch of spinach once the spinach in the pan has wilted. Don’t overcook the spinach, we still want the sauce to be a vibrant(ish) green rather than a khaki.
  5. Add the spinach mixture to a high speed blender (NutriBullet) with 6 tablespoons water, blitz until smooth and season with salt & pepper if needed.
  6. Add the sauce back to the pan, add the lentils and 150ml coconut milk, gently simmer until warmed through. – season a final time.
  7. Fry the halloumi in a dry non-stick frying pan until golden on both sides (serve immediately, halloumi goes rubbery when cold). If making tofu instead, you will need to add a little olive oil in the pan to shallow fry the tofu pieces until golden on both sides, season with salt, once drained on kitchen towel.
  8. When ready, serve with the halloumi, steamed basmati rice or naan. Enjoy!

 

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