Spring green mung dal & chickpea curry with shiitake recipe image

Print Spring green mung dal & chickpea curry with shiitake

This version of dal, made with yellow mung lentils, spring greens and our umami flavoured shiitake mushrooms, is good for a healthy mid-week supper. Lentils can vary in their cooking time, so check the mung dal are tender before serving. They usually cook down to a nice creamy texture quite quickly. You’ll probably need to add a little more liquid to them, this will depend on the size of your pan and the heat you cook at.

Ingredients

  • 150g mung dal lentils
  • 1 onion
  • Oil for frying e.g. sunflower or coconut
  • Piece fresh ginger
  • 1 large or 2 smaller garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 chilli
  • 30g fresh coriander
  • 300g spring greens
  • 150g shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt

Method

  1. Boil a kettle of water. Put the mung dal lentils in a large heatproof bowl (or use a saucepan) and pour over 700ml of boiled water and leave to soak until needed. Peel and finely dice the onion.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan. Add the onion. Fry gently for 10 minutes, stirring now and then, until the onion is soft and translucent. If it looks like catching at any point, add a splash of water.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and finely grate the ginger. Peel and finely chop, grate, or crush 1 large or 2 smaller garlic cloves. Halve, deseed and finely chop the chilli. Once the onion has cooked for 10 minutes, add the garlic, ginger, chilli and curry powder.
  4. Skim off and discard any scum from the top of the lentils using a spoon. Add the lentils and their soaking liquid to the onion mixture in the pan. Put a large pan of water on to boil for the spring greens.
  5. Bring the lentil pan to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. It’s worth noting at this point that you’ll need to cook the shiitake mushrooms about 5 minutes before the lentils are ready.
  6. Keep an eye on the liquid and top up with a little more water if needed to stop the lentils drying out. You want a sloppy consistency but not too wet at the end of cooking. Cut the tough ribs out of the middle of the spring green leaves and discard them.
  7. Wash the leaves. Once the water is boiling, add the greens and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until tender. Drain and refresh the leaves in a bowl of cold water (or just run under cold water in the colander for a while), then drain again.
  8. Roughly roll them up into a fat cigar shape, then finely shred them. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp piece of kitchen paper or clean cloth. Chop any larger ones up a little. Wash the coriander, shake dry then roughly chop the leaves.
  9. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Once the lentils are about 5 minutes from being done, stir in the chickpeas. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Add the shiitake mushrooms. Fry, stirring now and then, until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  10. Season them once cooked. Stir the spring greens into the lentils for 1 minute or so to warm through. Stir in three quarters of the fresh coriander. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste. Serve topped with the fried shiitake, sprinkled with the remaining coriander leaves.

Cooks notes

Season your lentils with salt at the end of cooking; it will prevent the lentils from softening if added at the start.
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