This chickpea and aubergine red lentil dhal is be both healthy and budget-friendly yet at the same time hearty and warming. You will love this simple vegan-friendly curry recipe.
Dhal is a staple dinner at my house - just as it is across most of the Indian subcontinent. My house isn't in India though, it's in the less exotic south London.
Cheap yet delicious, healthy yet filling, for me dhal is one of my favourite comfort meals.
But one of my favourite things is just how versatile dhal is.
I mean you can even spell it differently - dhal, daal, dal - they're all variations on the same thing.
Back to the food though, you can make dhal many different ways - green lentils, yellow lentils, black lentils can all feature.
Sometimes dhal contains tomatoes, sometimes it doesn't.
Coconut dhal is also amazing.
Red lentil dhal is my favourite
I make dhal most often with red lentils. I love red lentils because:
- they break down really well to create an almost soupy texture
- no soaking needed
- quick to cook.
Aubergine and chickpeas are great in dhal
I've taken this dhal recipe up a notch by adding chickpeas and aubergines.
These two extra ingredients make it really wonderful and if you haven't tried this before I definitely recommend that you do.
Dhal is traditionally eaten with flatbreads or rice. You might like to try:
- rice (pictured is a brown rice and wild rice mix)
- roti or chapatis
- vegan naan bread
- homemade vegan flatbreads
This recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to three days or the freezer for up to three months. When ready to eat defrost (if frozen) and reheat until piping hot.
To make this recipe you'll need:
- cumin seeds
- mustard seeds
- sunflower oil
- coriander (cilantro)
- chopped tomatoes
- dried red lentils
- tinned chickpeas
- garam masala
How to make red lentil dhal with aubergine and chickpeas
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Please do not reproduce this recipe without permission.
Chickpea and aubergine red lentil dhal
For the aubergine
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 aubergine (eggplant) diced
For the dhal
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- Thumb-sized piece ginger finely chopped
- 1 green chilli finely chopped
- Small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 200 g red lentils
- 700 ml boiling water
- 240 g cooked chickpeas (1 standard 400g tin)
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- salt to taste
- fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves to serve
First roast the aubergine
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
- Place the diced aubergine, the cumin and mustard seeds and the sunflower oil into a roasting tin and roast for 40 minutes, stirring halfway, or until cooked. When cooked remove from the oven and set aside until you're ready to add it to your dhal.
Now make the dhal
- Place the onion, garlic, ginger chilli and coriander leaves into a small food processor or blender with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Pulse until combined into a paste. You could also do this step in a pestle and mortar.
- Heat the remaining sunflower oil in a large saucepan and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Cook over a medium heat until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
- Add the paste, stir well and cook for a minute or two until it thickens slightly. Add the turmeric and stir.
- Next add the chopped tomatoes, the lentils and 500ml of the boiling water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for around 20 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked. Add the rest of the water gradually if it is becoming too thick.
- When cooked stir in the roasted aubergine and add the chickpeas and garam masala. Season to taste with salt and fresh coriander.
- Serve with rice or flatbreads.
- Nutritional information is approximate and is intended as a guide.
- This recipe is suitable for freezing.
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