I thought dal was always a very specific version of stewed lentils until I started digging into more Indian curries. Dal is actually a term used for any legume but also refers to a multitude of splendidly spiced humble stews where legumes are simmered until mushy and served over or with cooked grains or bread, like roti. This is a simple vegan stew that delivers huge flavour, comforting smells and full bellies using pantry staples and that one lost apple rolling around the bottom of your crisper. –Christine Tizzard
Apple Curry Dal
- 2 tbsp oil or butter
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper or chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 large or 2 small apples unpeeled, grated on the large holes of a box grater
- 1½ cups dried red or black lentils or a combination of both
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk
- 2½ cups vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice optional
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- ½-1 cup dried currants, raisins or chopped dried apricots
- ¼–½ cup seeds, nuts or toasted coconut
- 6-8 dollops plain yogurt
- 2-3 tbsp chopped cilantro, mint or basil
- In a large saucepot over medium-high heat, add the oil and then add the cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala. Stir the spices until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the apples and lentils and stir to coat in oil and spices. Stir in any optional add-ins.
- Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and mushy, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serve with garnishes, if desired.
- Serve and divide the garnishes among the serving bowls.