Dhal (as it is called in Sri Lanka) or Lentils, are known to be packed with protein, to be low in fat, can lower bad cholesterol and are considered one of your 5 a day. This all makes for a compelling argument to eat more of it in our diets.
Dhal is a firm favourite on most Sri Lankan household menus and if you have been to Sri Lanka, you will no doubt have come across a plethora of variations of the dish.
Dhal – the perfect comfort food
At Hari Hari HQ, we are no different. We love our dhal curry, with rice or chunky pieces of bread, and sometimes we mix the leftovers into stews. After all, we hate waste and the delicate spices of the curry add subtle tones to those casseroles and stews. It is the perfect comfort food and being dairy, nut, sugar and gluten free means it is suitable for those with food intolerances too!
However, did you know that making a dhal curry is not the only thing you can do with a Hari Hari dhal spice kit?
Another way with Hari Hari Dhal
I was given this glorious box of organic vegetables grown at Deans Court.
They utilise the permaculture method to grow the crops and a tour of their gardens is a clear demonstration that this system works!! The vegetables look incredibly lush and the smells, as they are being harvested is like nothing you will ever experience in a supermarket.
So, going back to that vegetable box, the first thing I did when I got home was to give all the vegetables a good wash and clean. I brought a few garden friends back with me, who were making a run for it, from the sink ; )
I picked out some vegetables and duly cut, chopped and shredded them up. It was time I showed you another way of using a Hari Hari Dhal Spice kit and these veggies were the perfect means to doing so! With the nights drawing in, the temperatures dropping and fire places being lit (mine has already been on a fair few times this week!) the urge for a nutritious, warming soup was growing. So here is how I made mine using our Hari Hari Dhal spice kit.
Preparation Time – 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time – approx 20-25 minutes
Hari Hari Dhal Spice Soup Ingredients
- 1-2 tbs oil
- 1l vegetable stock (or meat stock if this is not being made Vegan)
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2-4 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
- 2-3 large sprigs of celery
- 1 large carrot cut into bite sized cubes
- Tear the carrot tops and the celery leaves into smaller pieces
- 1-2 small turnips cut into bite sized cubes
- 1 Hari Hari Dhal Curry Spice kit
Time to Cook Hari Hari Dhal Spice Soup
Add the oil to a large stock pan over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add spice pack 1 (minus the cinnamon – you can use this for another dish so keep it in a zip lock bag or jar) and the onion, garlic and ginger.
Once the onions turn glassy looking, add spice pack 2 and stir through.
Add the chopped vegetables and stir through once more.
Then add the 1 litre of stock, the bay leaves and stir through
Allow to simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes and then add the carrot tops, celery leaves and stir through.
After 20 minutes total cooking time, check that the vegetables are cooked through and if not allow to cook for a further 5 minutes or until you can pierce the pieces easily with a fork. Once cooked, serve in a bowl and top with some fresh coriander flowers and some crusty bread on the side!
If you have fussy eaters who don’t like vegetables (i.e. little people) then whizz this through the blender to create a smooth soup!! Using some coconut milk, I drizzled it round the bowl with a spoon to add an extra creaminess to the dish. Alternatively you can use plain cream too.
If you want to serve this soup to ‘carnivores’ you can lightly fry up some chicken (or any other meat for that matter) in a little butter and add it to the finished soup.
Optional but Super Tasty
As mentioned in the recipe, you can substitute the vegetable stock for chicken or beef stock.
You can use a whole range of vegetables for this soup – just take a look in your fridge and use what you have there.
I didn’t actually use any dhal (lentils) in this dish but it is something you can most certainly do. Add approximately 100gm at the same time that you add the vegetables in. Make sure you wash the dhal well in a sieve until the water runs clear, otherwise your soup may take on a murky look.
Though I advise you to remove the cinnamon from Spice pack 1, you could leave it in, to add a warming flavour to the soup. Just remember to fish it and the cardamom out if you are blitzing the soup in the blender.
Spice Pack 3 of the dhal pack is chilli. You can add this according to your own taste. Alternatively you could add some fresh chopped chillies to this either during the cooking process or as a topper at the end.
I would love to hear how you got on with making this. If you try the recipe, don’t forget to take a photograph and post it on our social media profiles so we can share how you got on with yours!