I know it's a long shot calling a throw together meal 'magical'...but if it exists, this is it.
I am proud of all my recipe creations but especially this one.
Born out of being a time poor new Mum, I originally made this one afternoon with a baby on the hip. It was as part of a 'meal train' for a close friend who had just had a bub of her own, to support them with some warming, nourishing food!
I saved a little for us to try for our dinner and YUM! I was so impressed with my random creation that I attempted to recall the quantities and steps and jot it down to make again, and again, and again...
So quite a few iterations later, here we are. It's spicy (if you want it to be), warming, nourishing and oh-so wonderful. A hug in a bowl brimming with flavour!
Serves: 4-6 people
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Very easy
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 onions, finely diced
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
5 cups (700g) sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 cups (350g) carrot, washed or peeled and diced
2/3 cup (130g) quinoa, soaked and rinsed or unsoaked and rinsed well
2/3 cup (130g) red split peas, soaked and rinsed or unsoaked and rinsed well
1 1/2 cups (one 400ml can approx.) coconut milk
2 cups (500ml) veggie stock
2 teaspoons each curry powder and turmeric powder
1 teaspoon each ground ginger, cracked pepper and chilli powder (optional)
1 lemon, juiced
2 cups (25g) loosely packed coriander, stalks removed
OPTIONAL EXTRAS (for garnish/serving)
1 1/2 cups (250 g) canned or cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil (*optional* - not considered a whole food by many)
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
Extra coriander to serve
In a medium to large dry pan, lightly toast the coriander seeds over a low heat until fragrant.
Add the onion and garlic with a dash of veggie stock or if you are using it, olive oil. Sauté until soft and translucent.
Add all of the other ingredients and stir well to combine.
Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Partially cover with a saucepan lid and leave continuing to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring every now and again until the sweet potato and carrot are soft.
If you are adding roasted chickpeas, now is the time to preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius, fan-forced.
Once the veggies are cooked, turn off the heat. Add chopped coriander and fresh lemon juice and stir well.
Drain and rinse your chickpeas. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and add chickpeas. Coat in a small amount of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
To serve your delicious kitchari dahl, top with roasted chickpeas, hemp seeds and extra coriander.
COOKS NOTESGENERAL:Veggie stock - I use a clean powdered version that is really low in sodium. If you are using a variety that is high in sodium then I recommend omitting additional salt. I have also made this for our 10 month old daughter - in that variation I replaced the stock with boiling water and also skipped adding any hot spices like chilli. I then blended it with an immersion blender and she absolutely loved it!
Veggies - one of the beauties of this recipe is its versatility and flexibility. Like so many savoury one pot wonders, the quantities don't have to be an exact science. You might like to play around with different flavour combinations and use what you have available.
That said, I do think you need a hearty veggie as the base. Be that sweet potato, a variety of white potato or even pumpkin or cauliflower. Then in place of the carrot, anything from parsnip to zucchini to green beans will do nicely. Keep in mind too that carrots are quite sweet so you might like to swap them for another sweet root vegetable.
Herbs - I love coriander in this recipe but it is by no means the only option. I have also added chopped fresh parsley or even a green leafy like spinach or chopped kale. Each lends a different flavour and all works well.
Spices - You can play with the combinations here to your liking and omit or add chilli, fresh or dried as you desire.
Lemon - You can swap this for lime but I don't recommend omitting it all together. The acidity of the lemon is a secret weapon to enhance flavour and really elevate this delicious dish!