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Susan Bell

Lentil-less dal

This lentil-less dahl from The Diabetes Weight-Loss Cookbook by Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi, with Jenny Phillips is so delicious that you wouldn't even know it's low-carb.

Serving: 8
Time: Less than an hour
Difficulty: Easy


  • 3 tablespoons ghee, extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli, stalk removed or pinch of chilli flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 10g (¼oz) fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 medium round tomato, finely chopped or coarsely grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 50g (2oz) dried red lentils, washed (optional)
  • 600g (1lb 5oz) Brussels sprouts, cauliflower (leaves and head), Romanesco or broccoli, riced
  • 1 teaspoon unsmoked paprika
  • 1 green chilli, split
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 600ml (20fl oz) hot vegetable stock or water, plus up to 100ml (3½fl oz) to finish
  • Small bunch coriander, leaves roughly chopped, stems finely chopped, to serve 
  • Fried eggs, to serve

Nutrition per 122g serving without lentils:

5.6g carbs, 3.2g protein, 6.2g fat, 3.7g fibre, 99kcal

Nutrition per 125g serving with lentils:

6.5g carbs, 3.6g protein, 6.2g fat, 4g fibre, 105kcal


  1. Heat the fat in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the cumin seeds and dried chilli and fry for about 15 seconds. Add the garlic, stir through for a few seconds, then add the onion and stir again.
  2. Reduce the temperature to medium, add the ginger and tomato and stir through. Let everything soften for a few minutes and then add the turmeric, lentils (if using), sprouts, paprika, green chilli and seasoning. Fry for a few minutes and then add the stock or water. Stir well and put the lid on. Cook over a medium heat for 10–15 minutes, or until the riced sprouts have softened, stirring occasionally. It might need a little longer, and a little more stock, if you are using lentils.
  3. Remove the chillies and blend with a stick blender or in a food processor. Warm through in the pan and add a little more stock or water as necessary to get a thick, soupy consistency. Stir through the coriander leaves, top with fried eggs and serve straight away.

Recipe extracted from The Diabetes Weight-Loss Cookbook by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi, with Jenny Phillips. Published by Kyle Books, RRP €27. Photography by Susan Bell.

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