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RECIPE - Luxe or Lean Makhani Dal

(Recipe taken from The Midlife Kitchen, buy here )

A proper makhani dal is a rich, unctuous bowl of lentil-y bliss and I genuinely feel that there are times when the full butter and cream version is exactly what you are after. For day-to-day eating though, a lighter option is welcome - so here we have both a luxe and a lean version. There’s enough depth and layering of flavour in either to make this a meal in itself or with a wholemeal pita on the side. This is the perfect recipe if you are trying to incorporate more Nutri Foods in your diet as every single ingredient ticks the box. Enjoy!


KITCHEN TIME: 15 mins prep, 20 mins cooking


2 small red onions, chopped

1 large green chilli, deseeded and sliced

40g butter (luxe) or 1 tbsp light olive oil (lean)

1 tbsp ginger, finely grated

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp hot chilli powder, to taste

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp garam masala

4 cardamom pods, crushed

750ml water

2 bay leaves

1 400g can kidney beans, lightly mashed with a fork

1 250g pouch of pre-cooked beluga lentils

1 ripe tomato, finely diced

Sea salt

Black pepper

3 tbsp cream (luxe) or 3 tbsp yoghurt (lean)

A handful of coriander leaves, chopped

PREP TIP: Whilst this looks like a long ingredients list, most are spices or store-cupboard items, feel free to leave out the things you don’t have or add more things that you do. This recipe can take a bit of experimentation.


Fry the onions and chilli in the butter or oil for 5 minutes until softened. Add the ginger, garlic and spices and cook for another minute or two. Add the water along with the bay leaves, kidney beans, lentils and tomato. Simmer for around 20 minutes or until thickened. Add the salt, pepper, cream or yogurt and coriander and stir well. Serve and savour.

SERVING TIP: It’s worth making a double batch of this as it freezes brilliantly – or add vegetable stock to turn it into a hearty soup, then just heat and eat.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

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