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Lemon and Coconut Dhal

5cm/2 inch piece root ginger
1 onion
2 garlic gloves
2 small red chillies, seeded
30 ml/2 tbsp sunflower oil (other will work also)
5 ml/1 tsp cumin seeds
150 g/5 oz/2/3 cup red lentils (soaked overnight beforehand)
250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup water
15 ml/1 tbsp hot curry paste
200 ml / 7 fl oz/ 1 cup coconut cream
juice of 1 lemon
handful of fresh coriander leaves
25 g/ 1/4 cup flaked almonds
salt and pepper
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the ginger and finely chop it with the onion, garlic and chillies.  Heat the oil in a large, shallow saucepan.  Add the ginger, onion, garlic, chillies and cumin.  Cook for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured.  Stir in the lentils, water and curry paste in the pan.  Bring it to the boil, cover and cook gently over a low heat for 15-20 minutes.  Stir occasionally (try not to break the lentils) until the lentils are just tender but not yet brown.  Stir in about 2 tbsp of the coconut cream.  Bring it to the boil and cook, uncovered, for a further 15-20 minutes, until the mixture is thick and pulpy.  Remove from the heat, then stir in the lemon juice and the whole coriander leaves.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
While this is cooking I like to lightly toast some flaked almonds in the grill until lightly golden. Add these to the dhal and swirl in the remainder of the coconut cream.  Serve warm.  Enjoy! x

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