Lentils. Coconut milk. Curry Powder. These make an amazing tasting everyday dahl. This isn’t it though! Our Mushroom Dahl with Coriander Relish is not some simple and mundane dahl – it’s our very special, loved and cherished winter meal that bursts with flavours and impresses with all the different textures. Don’t skip the coriander relish – it’s what makes this dish so memorable (Word of Caution: it’s garlicky, and I mean raw garlic garlicky…)
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How is This Mushroom Dahl Different?
We have been making this Dahl for years. And I’ll be completely honest and say that there is not much authenticity in it when it comes to traditional Indian cuisine. We went on holiday to India in 2019 and, having toured both the North and South of the country, we confirmed that Indian food in India is very different from Indian food in the UK. Dahl is no exception. Every dahl we had in India has been made with different types of lentils and very thin, but creamy texture. Oh, and the spicing was something else – so complex and multilayered and well… very very hot!
Our mushroom dahl is milder tasting (blame Seb!) and has a fresh relish to balance the flavours of curry powder. We only use red lentils in this dal, so it’s a thick porridge-like consistency.
STEP 1: Make the Lentil Dahl
Start by making the lentil dahl. Slice all 3 onions and set half aside for later. Get your curry powder and lentils. You will also need half a tin of coconut milk. I use the rich & creamy kind for this recipe.
First, soften your onions in a large pan, add curry powder and crumble in a stock cube. Add the lentils, 160ml of water and coconut milk. Then leave your dahl to simmer covered with a lid on very low heat. It normally takes 15-20 minutes to cook. Make sure to stir it occasionally. If it’s looking too thick, just add an extra splash of water.
STEP 2: Make The Mushroom Topping
Whilst dahl simmers away, cut your flat mushrooms into thick wedges. Spread them into a single layer on a baking tray. Scatter with the reserved onions, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Now place under the grill and cook for 7-10 minutes until onions are crispy and mushrooms have shrunk. I always make sure to keep an eye on them – onions can burn so quickly! But I do like to char my onions and mushrooms a bit, so don’t worry if they have darker edges. It will all add to the amazing flavours of this mushroom dahl.
Step 3: Make the Coriander and Ginger Relish
Next step, coriander relish! It’s a fresh but very strong tasting relish. However, if you love garlic and coriander, this relish will be a real treat to your tastebuds. Hot with chilli and ginger, it packs a punch, but fresh coriander helps to cool it down. Rice vinegar and caster sugar are important to enhance and draw out the flavours of all the ingredients.
Just crush everything together in a pestle and mortar (or use a food processor if you have one) to make a rough paste. Mix with olive oil to make it thinner.
STEP 4: Serve
Once your lentils are cooked, they should be a porridge-like consistency, very creamy and fragrant. Taste for seasoning though and add more salt should you need any. Spoon dahl into two bowls and top with the mushrooms and onions. Dot the coriander relish around to finish and serve with some more of it on the side!
Other Recipes Using Lentils
Here it is, our favourite Mushroom Dahl with Coriander Relish. We hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we do. If you’re looking for something different though, have a look at our other main dish ideas using the humble lentils:
- Easy Lentil ‘Meatballs’ and Spaghetti (Vegan)
- Aubergine, Halloumi and Lentil Salad With Tahini Dressing
- Berbere Lentils | Ethiopian Staple
Mushroom Dahl with Coriander
- 3 small brown onions thinly sliced
- 180 g red lentils
- 1 tbsp curry powder (we used medium)
- 200 ml rich & creamy coconut milk (about half a tin)
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 250 g flat mushrooms sliced
For Coriander Relish:
- 10 g coriander finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 10 g root ginger finely chopped
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- ¼ tsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Heat some oil in a large pan and fry half of the sliced onions for about 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add the curry powder and crumble in a stock cube. Stir for a minute until fragrant.
- Tip in your red lentils. Then, add 200ml of creamy coconut milk and 160ml of water. Stir until combined.
- Cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime, prepare your mushrooms for grilling. Thickly sliced mushrooms are added onto a baking tray in a single layer. Scatter with the rest of the sliced onions. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook under the grill for 7-10 minutes. Keep your eye on them though and don't let the mushrooms burn. Your onions will turn crispy and may char a bit and that's ok.
- In the meantime, prepare your coriander relish. Add finely chopped garlic, ginger, coriander, chilli flakes, caster sugar and a tbsp of rice vinegar into a pestle and mortar and crush until you end up with a rough paste.
- Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, add a pinch of salt, 3 tbsp of olive oil and mix.
- When your dahl is cooked, divide it between two bowl. Top with your grilled mushrooms and onions. Serve with dollops of coriander relish.