Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Dal with haloumi and mint

Daylight savings has struck, spring rains are quenching our gardens and the nights are getting lighter.  Just not quite enough light for when I am rushing to make dinner on a weekend after gymnastics, lunch, op shopping and a garage sale.  So today I bring you this gorgeous but far from traditional dal that is served with golden brown haloumi and handfuls of mint from the garden.

I remembered the dal when looking for ways to use my mint that is flourishing after the recent rains.  I had planned to serve it in a fancy plate and take some tempting photos.  It is a dal after all that looks beautiful.  It is not at all traditional.  I took a recipe that used haloumi instead of paneer cheese.  I gather that the advice not to colour the haloumi was to make it look more like paneer but I like my haloumi golden brown so I dud as I pleased.

However I was rushing not just to beat the fading light but also to get dinner finished so we could eat with Sylvia who already had started dinner.  This, of course, did not stop her rushing out to help chopping mint from the garden with E and helping him to strip the mint leaves from the stalks.  She took great enjoyment in tossing a handful of mint leaves on the dal.

The next day I served the leftover dal and rice with some onion, cabbage and carrot that I fried with a scattering of mustard seeds. The dal was delicious but I did love it even more the second day when the mint flavour shone through and it had the vegetables on the side as well as brown rice.  Last night we finished it with the leftover cabbage and pasta.  It is a lovely dal to welcome in spring.

It was also really nice to have a good home made meal.  The first week of school term is always busy both with Sylvia and work.  This term has had a few challenges - technical errors at work, medical appointments and Christmas shopping for overseas relatives - that made me feel quite wrung out by the end of the week.  Then yesterday we heard that our accountant had died.  This week is looking better with a birthday brunch, Italian day at school and hopefully some time to tidy up the house.

I am sending this dal to Meat Free Monday; Eat your Greens hosted by VegHog this month; and My Legume Love Affair hosted by Cooking with Siri which is in its 100th month in October.

More red lentils recipes from Green Gourmet Giraffe 
Creamy lentil and vegetable soup (v, gf)
Curried red lentil and apricot soup (gf, v)
Green dal (gf, v)
Red lentil dosa (gf, v)
Red lentil koftas (gf, v)
Red lentil loaf
Sweet potato and red lentil soup (gf, v)

Dal with haloumi and mint
Adapted from Karen Martini in goodfood.com.au
Serves 4-6

2 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil*
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced*
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups split red lentils
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 tsp chilli paste
1 tsp salt flakes, or to taste
180g haloumi, cut into cubes**
10 fresh curry leaves
2 handfuls mint leaves

Fry onion in 1 tbsp olive oil* for a few minutes until it is translucent.  Add 2 cloves of garlic* and stir for a minute or two until fragrant and then stir in turmeric briefly.  Pour in water, stock, red lentils, peas and season with chilli paste and salt flakes.  Bring to boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until lentil are soft.

About 25 minutes into the simmer of the lentils, fry haloumi in another tbsp of oil* over medium heat on a frypan until it is golden brown on both sides.   Scatter onto the dal once the lentil are cooked.  Add another 1/2 tbsp of oil* and briefly cook the remaining 2 cloves of garlic* and then cook the curry leaves (about 20 seconds) until starting to wilt.  Arrange over the curry.  Scatter with mint leaves and serve.

**NOTES:  To make a vegan version of this, you could try Rosalie's vegan "haloumi".

On the stereo:
Music From The Motion Picture Once: soundtrack: Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova


  1. Yum! This dal looks fabulous and the haloumi on top is a bonus.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - yep the haloumi on top was really good

  2. You have set off a dal craving in me! I love the thought of this with mint and it seems a perfect match for spring and autumn, thus being useful for both of us.

    1. Thanks Kari - yes mint flourishes more than once in the year - perhaps I will need to remember it in autumn too

  3. It's a great idea to replace paneer with halloumi, maybe not traditional, but I'm sure it works. Thank you for sharing with Eat Your Greens!

    1. Thanks VegHog - I am not very familiar with paneer so I feel more at home with haloumi

  4. This is a dish I could actually see myself making Johanna! And adding halloumi to anything is a good idea.

    1. Thanks Lorraine - I don't have haloumi much but I do enjoy it when I do - nothing like that squeaky feel of it against the teeth

  5. I am glad you dud as you pleased , i prefer halloumi golden too and what a nice change from paneer. Thanks for sharing with EatYourGreens, if you don't mind though I would replace the mint with coriander.

  6. I'm planning on a dal next, I love them so much. Lovely colour there!

  7. I love dal, and your recipe has got me planning to make it again. I can't wait for my mint to take off again so I can use it in everything!

  8. It is amazing how you can make dal look so beautiful. The fresh mint really would lend a nice flavour - something I would have never thought of doing. And fresh curry leaves?? I don't think I've ever used those. I'll have to try and find some. This really is perfect timing. As you head in to spring, we head into fall and this makes me think of fall food.

  9. I love dal, but haven't made it for a long time...... Either way, I'm with you on the Haloumi...... it's way nicer with a good colour! x


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