How to Dad (aka Jordan Watson) is making one of his favourite meat-free recipes today: Creamy Coconut Dhal & Chilli Flatbreads. Jordan doesn't always choose to eat meat-free, but knowing the benefits of plant-based eating he likes to mix it up when he can, embracing the flexitarian lifestyle with relish. Today’s dhal has a heady mix of spices going on so we thought we would give you some of our tips for using and storing them at home.
How to: Make the most of spices
- Buy spices in small amounts from somewhere that has a high turnover. This is because the fresher the spice, the better the flavour.
- Consider buying staple curry spices like cumin and coriander in seed form, then toast them yourself in small batches and grind in an electric coffee grinder for use.
- Don't be afraid to experiment with your own curry powders; a little research will lead you in the right direction and experimenting will help you harness your skill.
- Most spices and spice mixes will benefit greatly from being toasted in a dry fry pan before use – this releases their incredible flavours and aromas.
- Pre-made spice blends, like the ones you get with HelloFresh meals, will last well in small clip-top jar for up to a month. Toast them before using to revive the flavours.
Recipe: Creamy Coconut Dhal & Chilli Flatbreads with Yoghurt
Dhal is always wholesome and delicious, but this version raises the bar with a creamy coconut base, mild spices and multiple veggies to keep things interesting. Plus, you'll quickly become addicted to the spicy flatbreads for dipping – they're easy to prepare and make this meal extra special!
1 drizzle of olive oil
2 brown onions
4 cloves garlic
½ cup red lentils
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
100g Bengal curry paste
140g tomato paste
1 tsp turmeric
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
400ml coconut milk
¼ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
8 mini flour tortillas
60g baby spinach leaves
200g Greek yoghurt
1. Finely chop the brown onion. Finely grate the ginger. Finely grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Rinse the red lentils.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the butter and a drizzle of olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add a drizzle more olive oil and add the brown mustard seeds, Bengal curry paste, tomato paste and turmeric. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes.
3. Add the water, the salt, red lentils and coconut milk to the pan. Stir to combine well. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the lentils have softened, 20-25 minutes. Grate the courgette (unpeeled). Roughly chop the tomato. In the last 10 minutes of cook time, remove the lid and stir through the courgette and tomato. Cook until the veggies have softened. TIP: Add a splash of water if the dhal looks dry.
4. When you've added the veggies to the dhal, heat olive oil (2 1/2 tbs for 2 people / 1/3 cup for 4 people) in a medium frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add a pinch of chilli flakes (if using) to the oil and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Transfer the chilli-infused oil to a small bowl. Brush (or spread using the back of a spoon) some chilli oil over both sides of a mini flour tortilla. Return the pan to a medium-high heat and add the tortilla. Cook until golden, 1 minute each side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and repeat with the remaining tortillas.
5. When the dhal has finished cooking, stir through the baby spinach leaves until just wilted and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roughly chop the coriander.
6. Divide the creamy coconut dhal between bowls, top with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and sprinkle with coriander. Serve with the chilli flatbreads.
Recipes and tips courtesy of HelloFresh -HelloFresh is a meal-kit provider that delivers tried-and-tested recipes and fresh ingredients right to your door.