Courgettes or zucchini make a tasty addition to a classic daal. Frugal, easy to make, healthy and delicious, this courgette red lentil daal is an excellent way to use up a glut of home grown veg! Vegan and naturally gluten free.
Courgette red lentil daal
Courgettes or zucchini: whatever you call them, if you grow them you have a deep and abiding understanding of the concept of feast or famine. When courgettes are in season, there’s no getting away from them. They’re lunch, supper, pickles and even jams.
Courgettes are delicious simply fried in butter and oil, but that does get to be a little same-y after a while. So we’re always looking for new ideas. This tasty courgette and red lentil daal is a great addition to the recipe collection.
Now, is it dal, dhal, dahl or daal? However you spell it, this savoury lentil-based dish is a delicious, spicy staple that’s easy to make. Mopped up with roti, the traditional Southern Asian flatbreads, or served with rice and curries, it’s comforting, tasty and nutritious too.
- Courgettes – Baby marrows are known by the French term courgette in the UK and the Italian zucchini in the US. Eat them young and fresh, before the seeds develop and the skin thickens.
- Red lentils – The least fussy of all pulses, these keep for ages and don’t need soaking before you cook them.
- Ginger – Fresh or frozen. I keep it in the freezer and grate it as I need it.
- Lemon – juice only
- Spices – curry powder, garam masala, cumin and turmeric
- Vegetable stock
- Coriander leaf (cilantro) – to garnish
How to make courgette/zucchini and red lentil daal
Step one First, fry the spices in a little oil until they’re just starting to give off that delicious fragrance.
Step two Stir in the lentils. Coat them well with the spice and oil mixture.
Step three Add the stock. Grate in the garlic and ginger and then simmer the daal for about 20 minutes. Add a little more stock if necessary.
Fuss Free Tip
Keep your ginger in the freezer, and grate it from frozen. No more worries about unused ginger going soft in the fridge!
Step four Dice and add the courgettes. Simmer for a few minutes more, so that the courgettes cook through.
Step five Add a squeeze of lemon juice and serve.
Courgette and Red Lentil Daal
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 225 g red lentils
- 500 ml stock
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ tsp fresh ginger
- 1 medium courgette (zucchini) (diced)
- ½ lemon
- 2 sprigs coriander (cilantro)
- Heat the oil in the pan. Add the spices, stirring all the time. Fry them for a few minutes until they release their aroma.
- Add the lentils and stir for another minute making sure they are well coated with the oil and spice mix.
- Take the pan off the heat to add the stock. Then grate in the garlic and ginger, return to the heat and simmer for 10 mins.
- Add the diced courgette and stir in. Simmer for another 10 mins until the lentils are soft, adding more water when needed. The amount of water you need to add will vary according to how much the courgette absorbs.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. It brightens and lifts the entire dish.
- Serve with roti, other flatbreads, or rice, garnished with chopped coriander leaf (cilantro).
- Freeze ginger root and grate into the daal from frozen.
- Keeps for a few days in the fridge, or make a double batch and freeze.
- Add some extra stock to leftovers and cook for another 10 minutes for a delicious lentil soup.
- Serve with my easy pilau rice.
- This recipe is 15 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion