Inspired by a trip to the Mae Deli in London last year I made my own version of the sweet and comforting dahl that I ate there.

This is a perfect autumnal recipe; warming, sweet and flavourful and uses cauliflower which is in season at this time of year.


It's relatively simple to make and involves just one pan. And this makes plenty so there should be leftovers [cook once eat twice, three, four times!]. This will depend of course on the appetite of those you share with (and how many people want seconds 😉 ). 

Sometimes I like to turn this into soup by adding a little more water to make the consistency thinner.



1 medium red onion

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

Pinch of black pepper

200g (2 cups) red lentils

5 cups (1.2l) water

500g (5 cups chopped) cauliflower [I often use frozen cauliflower florets]

100g (2/3 cup) chopped apricots

Handful fresh coriander for garnish

Optional - 140g (1 cup) peas / 1 chopped bell pepper


[serves 5]


Finely chop onion and garlic and soften along with the spices in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.


Once softened add the lentils and 4 cups water (sometimes 5 cups makes it too thin so only add the extra cup if you think it is needed). Bring to the boil then simmer. This should take approx 10-15 minutes.


Meanwhile, chop the cauliflower (if using fresh) into small bite-size florets. Add this next, and let cook for another 10-15 minutes. I find this varies a little depending on the size of the cauliflower pieces that you put in. Keep testing. Add the optional extra veg here if you are including it.


When the cauliflower is almost cooked add the chopped apricots and cook for another 5 minutes.


Finally add finely chopped fresh coriander at the end - you can stir it in or sprinkle on top as a garnish.




Serve over rice, quinoa or your favourite grain. Or simply with some fresh greens. I think this goes nicely with wilted spinach.