Vegan Week for 2 Day 1

JaneFood 09-06-18_6433
Tarka dal with naan and bhajis Photo by
Tarka dal with garlic Naans & onion bhajis
Serves 2 with leftovers

Ingredients for the tarka dal

250g yellow dried split lentils, rinsed until the water runs clear
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 whole green chillies, pricked with a knife
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
3 tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
11/2 teaspoons ground coriander
Salt and pepper, to taste
Handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves


Ingredients for the garlic Naans

1 teaspoon of quick yeast
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
300g strong flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tablespoon of olive oil
150ml natural/soya yogurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
Sprig of coriander, chopped

Ingredients for the onion bhajis

Vegetable oil, for frying
150g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
75ml cold water


Place the lentils and 900ml of water into a pan, stir well and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that forms on the surface of the water with a spoon. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir regularly for 35-40 minutes, until the lentils are tender, adding more water if needed. DO NOT ADD SALT it’ll make them hard.
When the lentils have cooked, take them off the heat and whisk to break them down, then set aside to thicken and cool.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, and add the cumin seeds. Fry for 20-30 seconds until fragrant.
To this pan add the onion, chillies and ginger and fry for another  6-8 minutes until golden brown. Purée the garlic and tomatoes with a hand blender, then add to the pan and stir to combine.
Add the other ground spices and 100ml of water to the pan and stir well. Lightly season with salt and simmer over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the oil from the sauce has risen to the surface of the sauce. 
Add the cooked lentils to the sauce and stir well, adding more water as necessary to loosen the mixture. Bring the mixture to the boil and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped coriander just before serving. You don’t add salt until near the end as it can make the lentils hard. Serve with the yogurt.

For the onion bhajis, mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the sliced onion and stir.

Next add the water and mix with your hands until everything is coated.Heat 5cm of oil in a deep saucepan and gently fry a tablespoon of the mixture until golden on both sides, a few at a time.

Pop them in a low oven to keep warm as you go.

For the naans, make the dough, in a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together, and form a well in the middle.
Pour in the oil and yogurt. Gather in the sides with your hands and mix together well.

Knead for 10 minutes, then cover the bowl with cling film and put in a warm place for an hour to prove and rise. I use my oven set at 40°C

When the naan dough has risen, divide into 6 balls, then flatten slightly with your hand.

On a floured surface roll out each ball in a teardrop shape to about 25cm long.

Stack the naans up with a light dusting of flour between, to stop them sticking together.

Heat up a dry non-stick frying pan.

Brush off the flour and toast the bread on each side for a couple of minutes, until golden and puffed up.

Brush both sides of the naan with plain olive oil, or garlic spread. Keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

To make the garlic spread, mix a tablespoon of oil with crushed garlic and chopped parsley.