I found a super quick and easy vegetable daal recipe in the River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook a few years ago when I was first weaning my little chica, and I am sure it is because of the success of this dish that she now loves spicy flavoursome food.
This recipe is a variation of the original and we like to eat it with crispy homemade samosas. Lentil Vegetable Daal
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick of celery, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 cup butternut squash, finely diced
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
2 cups of chicken stock, veggie if you want
1/2 cup coconut milk
4 nuggets of frozen spinach, defrosted, or 2 large handfuls of fresh
Soften the onion in some olive oil, together with the crushed garlic on a medium high heat. Add the spices to sizzle for a few minutes to wake up the flavours before adding the celery, carrot and squash. When the veggies are starting to golden around the edges, tip in the lentils and the stock. Stir it up, reduced the heat and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally to ensure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
After this time, the veggies and lentils will be breaking down and becoming the smooth consistency of a daal. If you like your daal completely smooth, then bend it with a hand blitzed now. Otherwise, add the coconut milk and spinach to the pan and keep warm until ready to serve.
Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Samosas
Makes 12 triangles
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes
1 heaped tbsp of medium curry paste
2 cups of chicken or veggie stock
3 cups of chopped cauliflower
1 cup frozen peas
4 filo pastry sheets, cut into three long strips, lengthways
Take the filo pastry out of the freezer and set aside the 4 sheets under a damp tea towel until you are ready to use them.
Start by browning the edges of the sweet potato cubes in a little olive oil. After a few minutes, add the curry paste to the pan to wake up the spices and let them sizzle. After another few minutes, add the stock to the pan and simmer until the potato pieces are cooked through and pretty much all of the stock has evaporated. Mix in the cauliflower and peas and remove from the heat. The residual heat will soften the veggies perfectly.
When the veggies have cooled, lay a long strip of filo out on a clean surface. Spoon 1 heaped tablespoon of the curried potato and cauliflower on to the top corner of the filo. Fold the top corner over the filling to create a triangle shape and then continue folding the triangle down the strip to fully encase the filling. Repeat the process for the remaining potato filling.
Lay the triangles untouching on an oiled baking tray and bake in an oven preheated to 200c or 400f for 15 mins. Turn them over half way through baking for even crispness!
Serve the daal and samosas with a spoon of basmati rice and some mango chutney.
I freeze any leftover daal in single portion containers. Similarly, the samosas will freeze well too.