Carrot & Red lentil Dhal


or no reason other than me, my other half cooks…rarely. But he can cook. Well and naturally. Its the ideas bit that, like many people, makes him begrudge the thought of it, especially for someone else.

But tonight was my night! Or his night I should say. A late spinning class for me and a WFH day for him meant he was on duty and as I pumped out the sweat of a long day I thought wildy about what he had chosen.

Door open – curry house smells. Good start.


hilst I know he can cook, I never know quite what to expect. He once told me he was making orange chicken. Yes, quite literally chicken cooked in orange juice which, after I laughed (and gagged) our way home, was delicious. So I’ve learned to trust him. And what I like most is the imagination of someone else that makes me eat things I wouldn’t have thought of.


here are occasions when you try something for the first time, where your brain stores the sensory information and captures it with a special binding memory. These occasions when you think back to that first taste. Where the memories are supported by the moment, the place, the need or desire for that food, the weather! These are memories that get better with time and sit on thrones in your mind ready to be disappointingly not as good as you remember.

This I found out the easy way as I recreated this dish for him this evening. One which I see being a weekly dinner staple. That first taste was devine. A mix of ‘not-having-a-clue-what-on-earth-this-would-taste-like’ and pure desire.


weet, filling, hearty and can be eaten with pillowey soft flatbreads or naan and fingers if you really want. He did. We enjoyed it.

Adapted from Healthy Food Guide (for which I will now read more often)


Serves 3 hungry people, add a handful more lentils for 4. 

  • 1tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 500g carrot, grated
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 100g red lentils
  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 4 naans/flatbread (see here)
  • Coriander to serve
  • Yoghurt to serve, add some lime for a zing
  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the mustard and cumin seeds and let them sizzle and pop. Stir in the carrot and the curry powder and let the carrot sweat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the lentils and stock and stir. Simmer for 30 minutes until cooked and reduced.
  3. Loosen the peanut butter with a bit of hot water if thick, and then whisk it into the lentil, making sure it disperses.
  4. Season and simmer for a few more minutes until a nice thick consistency (up to you).
  5. Serve on, or alongside warm pitta, naan bread or homemade flat breads. Add a dollop of yoghurt and some coriander and serve.