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Spiced dal with cucumber and mint raita and parsnip, ginger and apple bhaji (vegan)

Yields2 Servings

This year, Jilisa is getting stuck in with the British Dal Festival celebrations, having created this very dish to add to her menu and earn the diner a place on the Dal Trail that’s happening throughout the city.

For the dal:
 3 tbsp olive oil
 1 onion, finely diced
 pinch mustard seeds
 3 curry leaves
 1 tbsp garlic, minced
 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
 1 tsp chilli powder
 1 red chilli, chopped
 250g mung dal
For the bhaji:
 200g parsnip, peeled and grated
 1 green apple, grated
 200g gram flour
 1 tsp coconut sugar
 ½ tsp salt
 1 tsp ground coriander
 50g ginger, peeled and grated
 50ml water
 50ml apple juice
 vegetable oil, for deep frying
For the raita:
 ¼ cucumber, grated
 5 sprigs mint, leaves finely chopped
 250g coconut yoghurt

Heat the oil in a pan and gently sweat down the diced onion with the mustard seeds and curry leaves for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft.


Once softened, add the garlic, spices andchopped chilli. Cook for a further 3 minutes, then add the lentils and enough water to cover. Leave to cook for 30 minutes.


Once cooked, correct the seasoning and consistency – more water may be needed if it’s become too thick.


Combine all the bhaji ingredients – except the water, apple juice and oil – in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Gradually add the water and juice, mixing to form a thick batter. Don’t worry if it appears too thick, the water from the apples and parsnips will eventually leech out


To fry the bhajis, heat 4cm of the oil in a deep, heavybased pan to 180C. Carefully drop in 1 tbsp of the batter and fry for 2 minutes, before flipping and cooking for another 1 minute until both sides are golden and crisp. When cooked, removed with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Do this in batches until all the mixture is used.


For the raita, add the cucumber and chopped mint leaves to the yoghurt and mix well. Season with salt.


To plate, add a ladle of dal to each bowl. Cut the bhajis in half and place in the centre, then add a dollop of the raita. We like to finish with toasted desiccated coconut, some more chopped mint, and pickled red onion.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 2