Chana Dhal With Spicy Roasted Vegetables


This lentil based dish makes the perfect healthy and balanced meal, and the spiced vegetables will add a depth of flavour to your winter carrots and cauliflower, which can taste a little bland when cooked if you’re not careful.

Preparation time:30 minutes + 1 hour soaking

Cooking time:1 hour 30 minutes

Serves: 4


350g yellow split peas
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
28g pack fresh coriander, leaves and stalks chopped separately
1 red chilli, halved lengthways
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp ground cumin
4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
Juice 2 limes

For the roasted vegetables:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 whole cauliflower, florets only
4 carrots, peeled, halved lengthways and sliced into 2cm diagonals
2 tsp cumin seeds
¾ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp black mustard seeds
115g pack baby spinach


1. Soak the split peas in cold water for 1 hour then drain.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, coriander stalks, chilli and bay leaves and cook for a further 1 minute. Sprinkle in the garam masala and cumin and fry, stirring almost continuously, for 30 seconds.

3. Add the tomatoes, drained split peas and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 1 hour 30 minutes until the peas are very tender. Stir in the lime juice and scatter with coriander leaves.

4. Meanwhile, to make the roasted vegetables, preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Pour the oil into a large, shallow baking tray and place in the oven for 5 minutes to warm up. Add the cauliflower and carrots, toss to coat in the oil and roast for 10 minutes.

5. Mix together the cumin seeds, turmeric, paprika, garam masala and black mustard seeds. Sprinkle over the vegetables, turning to coat, then return to the oven for 10–15 minutes until the veg are tender. Stir the spinach through until wilted then serve alongside the dhal. Delicious with warm naan bread and steamed basmati rice.

Top Tip

You can prepare the dhal in advance then gently reheat and finish with lime juice and coriander leaves to serve, ensuring it’s the perfect dish to serve up on a day that always promises to be hectic!

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