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Yellow lentil bowl with tamarind chickpeas & tamari almonds from my latest supperclub

I made this for the first time at my Secret Supper a couple of weeks ago and everyone loved it! The original bowl had a blob of black rice and a bit of extra vaghar to make it more of daal fry but I decided not to simplify it here (it tasted great though, so you could definitely add all that if you like!) What I loved about eating this is it’s filling without being too heavy, it’s warming and comforting, it’s mellow yet flavourful, not spicy (although you could of course add some green chillies) and there’s something incredibly calming about it. You can make it in different stages. For example, I made the yellow lentils a day in advance, left the bowl in the fridge, then made the rest when I was going to photograph it and eat it, warmed the lentils and put it all together. The tanginess of the imli chutney is what really wakes it up and gives it that umph of life!

for the lentils
120g yellow lentils, washed
800ml hot water (or could heat cold water)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
80ml coconut milk

Let the yellow lentils boil in water for 30 minutes, adding salt and turmeric, until soft and cooked. Add the coconut milk at the end when the lentils are cooked and the water seems to be soaked up. While this is cooking, make the chickpeas and sauce.

for the chickpeas
½ tin chickpeas
¼ teaspoon coconut or any oil
¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
4 tablespoons imli (tamarind and date) chutney*
pinch of turmeric
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, optional

Let the oil heat up in a pan on low to medium heat, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds, placing them in the oil. When you hear the mustard seeds start to pop, add the chickpeas, turmeric, salt, imli chutney and sesame seeds if using. Stir this together and let it cook for around 10 minutes on low to medium heat, stirring it occasionally.
*this is on page 148 of my book Saffron Soul, but you can also buy this chutney ready at supermarkets.

for the green chutney
30g, handful coriander leaves, whole or chopped
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons water
juice of ½ lemon or lime
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, ideally soaked for an hour or longer
1 tablespoon yoghurt, optional
1 teaspoon tahini
1 green chilli, optional

Literally just blend everything together in a high speed blender!

for the almonds
½ teaspoon coconut oil
4-5 tablespoons almonds
1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
sprinkle of paprika
1 teaspoon agave or maple syrup

In a small pan, melt the coconut oil, add the almonds and the rest of the ingredients and stir together on a low to medium heat for around 10 minutes. Let them cool.

To put the bowls together, just pour out the lentil soup, place a couple of tablespoons of chickpeas on one side, add a few almonds and a spoon of the green chutney. Garnish with coriander leaves if you like!

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