Vegetarian Mini Thali

I haven’t used red lentils so far and decided that for my evening meal I’d make some daal. This turned into an idea for a mini thali type dish with some lovely flavours. This one happened to be vegetarian but you could always split your protein allowances to increase the number of items in the thali and add some more variety. The chilli cumin chicken recipe would work a treat here, and make the daal mild to create the perfect balance, just adjust your protein weights accordingly.

Vegetarian Thali: Daal, methi ‘aloo’, raita.


  1. To make the daal:
    1. Rinse your red lentils in cold water, repeat until the water is no longer as cloudy. Place in a saucepan and add 5 parts water to your one portion of lentils. 
    2. Add in ginger and garlic, cumin seeds, chilli powder, turmeric and garam masala.
    3. Bring to the boil and then loosely cover and let simmer for 20-25 mins. If they start to go too dry you can always add in more water.
  2. To make the methi aloo:
    1. Thinly slice celeriac and add to a ceramic pan; frylight is optional.
    2. Add in a heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds.
    3. When the pan is hot, add a small amount of garam masala, chilli powder and turmeric. Add enough water to cover the base of the pan and turn the celeriac so it all gets coated with the spices.
    4. Simmer and cook down until almost dry; before the liquid has gone add in a heaped teaspoon of dried fenugreek (the methi) and stir through.
    5. Continue to cook until dry, until you get the desired finish (longer dry cooking gives a crispier result).
  3. To make the raita:
    1. Put natural yoghurt into a bowl (taken from your dairy allowance) and purely for presentation sprinkle some garam masala and chilli powder over the surface and gently place a small amount of grated cucumber on top.
  4. Plate and serve with a coriander garnish over the dishes.

All can be made in advance or larger portions made to be reheated through the week. You can also freeze the daal and celeriac dish once cooked. Just defrost and reheat thoroughly.

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© Chanden/charliekilosugar 2015. Original content please do not reproduce.

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