This gently spiced dal soup is swimming with fried nuggets of golden cauliflower, with popping pink pomegranate jewels for fruity crunch.
75g red lentils
2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp turmeric
800ml hot water
2 tsp cumin seeds
A handful of coriander
A thumb of ginger
2 tsp black mustard seeds
Freshly ground pepper
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1.Tip the lentils into a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for 10 mins. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the onion. Pull the leaves from the cauliflower (keep the cauli for later). Wash and finely chop them. Set a large pan on a low heat. Add 1 tbsp oil, the onion and the cauli leaves. Fry for 6 mins, stirring now and then, till soft.
2.Meanwhile, peel and grate the ginger and garlic. Halve the chilli, flick out the seeds, and finely chop. Boil the kettle. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli to the pan. Fry for 1 min. Stir in 2 tsp turmeric.
3.Drain and stir in the lentils. Pour in 800ml boiling water and add a pinch of salt. Stir, cover and simmer for 15 mins till the soup has thickened.
4.Halve the pomegranate. Hold 1 half, cut-side down, in your hand over a bowl. Hit with a wooden spoon and the seeds should fall into the bowl through your fingers. Repeat with the remaining pomegranate. Chop the coriander stalks.
5.Finely chop the cauliflower. Set a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add 1 tbsp oil, the cauli and some salt. Fry for 5 mins, stirring. Add 2 tsp each mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Stir and fry for 2 mins till aromatic. Take off the heat.
6.Stir half the cauliflower and the coriander stalks into the soup. Blitz smooth, or leave the soup chunky. You can add more hot water if it’s too thick, and a pinch more salt if needed. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with the fried cauliflower, pomegranate seeds and the coriander leaves.