Creamy brown lentil daal – Jack Monroe

Course: Starter - Dish: Vegetarian - Serves: 2

The first EXCLUSIVE recipe to Canned Food UK from food writer and blogger, Jack Monroe. #CannyJack Watch out for a new recipe every month.

Traditional daal recipes use toasted spices, such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric; I’ve cheated a bit here and used a basic curry powder to add a bit of everything without breaking the bank. To make this creamy comforting daal even healthier, add a handful or two of greens; fresh or frozen kale or spinach, finely sliced green cabbage or spring greens, or green beans all work well. I’ve even made it with mixed frozen vegetables thrown in to make it go further, which is an easy way to your five a day. 

Serves 2, generously 


  1. First measure your onion into a medium-sized, non-stick pan, and add the ginger, garlic and curry powder. Set on a medium hob ring on high heat for one minute, stirring all the time. If using fresh onions in place of frozen, add a tablespoon of oil to stop them from sticking and burning to the pan - frozen onions hold enough moisture for this not to be a problem.  
  2. Drain and thoroughly rinse your lentils and stir into the onions, then add the tomato puree, and coconut milk. Stir well and cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to disturb and combine the ingredients.  
  3. It will be ready to eat now, but the best daals are those that are simmered slowly and tenderly, allowing the lentils to really break down and give a comforting, creamy texture, so if you can spare the time and the energy, continue to cook for a further 40 minutes on a very low heat, adding a splash of water every now and again to stop it from drying out or burning. 
  4. To store leftovers, cool completely and transfer to airtight bags or containers. This daal will keep in the fridge for three days, or the freezer for two months. Defrost thoroughly and reheat to piping hot to serve. 

Nutritional information per serving:

Nutritional value per serving 
Nutrient  Per serving 
Energy  1217kJ 
Fat  2.9g 
   of which saturates  1.0g 
Carbohydrate  41.7g 
  of which sugars  18.1g 
Fibre  14.6g 
Protein  16.7g 
Salt  0.8g 
  5-A-DAY PORTIONS  One serving of this recipe counts as 2 of your 5-A-DAY target of fruit and vegetable portions.   

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