Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1
Dr Rupy Aujla
“There is one lentil dish I find myself craving more than any other, and it’s this one. The umami blend of soy and fish sauces ripples through the sharp ginger and aromatics of cinnamon and star anise. This is a pleasure to cook and addictive to eat.”
PREP 10 MINUTES/COOK 45–50 MINUTES
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
120g shallots (about 2), finely chopped
8–10 curry leaves (optional)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
25g piece of root ginger (about 3cm), grated
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
160g aubergine (about 1 large), cut into 1.5cm chunks
200g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
200g dried split yellow lentils, rinsed
400ml boiling water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
10g fresh coriander leaves, to serve
1 Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the mustard seeds, cinnamon, star anise, shallots, curry leaves (if using), garlic and ginger and stir for 2–3 minutes until the oil and spices are fragrant.
2 Add the turmeric, soy sauce, fish sauce, aubergine and tomatoes, season and cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the lentils and stirring for another minute.
3 Add the boiling water and simmer for 35–40 minutes until the lentils are soft. Remove from the heat and either stick-blend or mash the mixture with a potato masher to create a lovely, thick dhal.
4 Serve the dhal scattered with the coriander leaves.
Cook’s tips You can use cooked lentils from a tin – reduce the amount of boiling water by two-thirds and the cooking time (once the lentils are added to the aubergine, etc.) to 10 minutes.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product packed with protein, dietary fibre and vitamins. It originates from Indonesia and has a dense and chewy texture, as opposed to tofu’s silky, smooth texture. I know tempeh isn’t everyone’s favourite ingredient but trust me, it’s because you haven’t experienced it at its best. The flavours in this dish are phenomenal and the texture of tempeh suits this method of cooking.