Coconut dhal with homemade flatbreads

Coconut Dhal with Homemade Flatbreads
Coconut Dhal with Homemade Flatbreads

Have you ever microwaved a Mini Babybel? I bet you haven’t but it’s amazing. Remarkably though, I’m not a fan of a chilled Babybel which could explain my mad teenage invention in the first place. Five to seven seconds is all it takes to turn a seemingly regular mini cheese, into something wonderful and before I know it, I’m savagely ripping open the second net of cheeses like an animal.
It’s not just me that has an appreciation for this method of eating Baybel’s, my best friend Philippa also shares my dirty cheesy secret. She reminded me last weekend.
“Hey, remember microwaved mini Babybel?”
“OH MY GOD YES! Microwaved BabyBel!… Have you got any?”
“No. Forgot to buy some”
“What the hell?! Don’t tempt if you haven’t got any!” I rage, downing my fifth prosecco and heading for the fridge to stare at the empty cheese tray.
“Soz” she says, rather unapologetically. She taps her phone and puts on Sir Mixalot’s ‘Baby Got Back’. We swiftly forget all about Babybel’s and start vigorously thrusting and dancing around the kitchen.
Anyway, we can’t live off microwaved Baybels can we… Can we? No, no we can’t, we need to eat sensible dinners like this rather delightful dhal recipe. Although with all this talk of Babybel’s, I wouldn’t’ be surprised if I found you all submerging mini cheeses into your dhal. The heart wants what it wants, just remember to peel the wax off first.

Coconut dhal with homemade flatbreads
Serves 4 / Hands on time 50 mins / Total time 50 mins / V Vn Df 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
2 onions, finely chopped
½ tsp sea salt flakes
3 large garlic cloves or 4 small, crushed
Knob of ginger, grated
4 cardamon pods
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
Pinch of chilli flakes
1 litre of vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pot
300g red lentils
Can of coconut milk
200g bag of spinach
2 corn on the cobs
170g wholemeal flour + extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
½ tsp mustard seeds
Handful chopped coriander
125ml water
1 tbs sunflower oil

1. Start the dahl by peeling and chopping your onions nice and small. Heat the oil in a large pot with a lid over a medium heat. Add the onions along with the salt and cook with the lid until soft (around 8-10 mins). If the onions start to catch, add a dash of water to prevent them from burning, this will help them steam.
2. Meanwhile in a pestle and mortar, bash the cardamon pods until the seeds spill out. Discard the shells and grind the seeds until you have a powder. Put to one side.
3. Once the onions are soft, add the crushed garlic, grated ginger and all the spices. Give it a good stir and cook for a few minutes to allow the spices to release their fragrance and flavour.
4. Add the vegetable stock, coconut milk and the lentils before giving it a good stir. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 25-30 mins, stirring regularly to prevent the lentils sticking to the bottom of your pot.

Homemade flatbreads
Measure 170g of wholemeal flour in a mixing bowl. Add the salt, mustard seeds and a handful of freshly chopped coriander and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon. Once incorporated, add the water and the oil. Stir again until you have a smooth dough, (it will be a little wet). Put to one side and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Once rested, dust a surface down with a bit of flour and divide your dough into four balls. Roll each individual ball into a thin disk – remembering to flour your surface between each flatbread. Heat a dry, non-stick pan on a medium to high heat and add one flatbread at a time and cook for a minute on each side until they have a bit of colour. Transfer to a plate and keep them warm in an oven at a low temperature (50°C).

1. Place your corn in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes, remove carefully and transfer to a clean tea towel to cool. Meanwhile wilt the spinach in a separate saucepan a couple of handfuls at a time in a bit of coconut oil, adding a little salt and pepper as you go. Do this on a low to medium heat. Once wilted, take off the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm. Put to one side and discard any excess water from the spinach.
2. By now your corn should be cool enough to handle so carefully impale the corn on the end of a fork and hold over an open flame on the hob, turning carefully (this will give your corn a lovely charred look and taste). Once charred, stand your corn upright, on a chopping board and slice carefully down the sides with a sharp knife removing the kernels. Serve the dhal topped with the charred corn and wilted spinach, along with warm flatbreads and rice.

Coconut Dhal with Homemade Flatbreads

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Df– Dairy free   – The dhal is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.