Spinach Dal with Lamb Chops and Grilled Tomatoes

Greek holiday blues always leave me craving spinach dal with squashy grilled tomatoes and crusty lamb chops. It’s a great combination of creamy, spicy dal, slippery, sweet tomatoes and juicy, crusty lamb. Leftover dal is easily turned into delicious soup; I like it with scoops of mango chutney as you can see in this photo.

Serves 4

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 20 min

8 tomatoes

3 tbsp olive oil

200g organic red split lentils

½ (half) tsp ground turmeric

2 shallots

¼ (quarter) tsp ground asafoetida

½ (half) tsp cumin seeds

knob of butter

2 whole dried red chillies

100g young spinach

8 loin lamb chops, approx 75g each

1 tbsp vegetable oil Wash the lentils, drain and place in a pan with 800ml water. Bring to the boil and immediately reduce the heat. Skim white froth as it forms for the next couple of minutes. Stir in the turmeric. Cover and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until very soft. Halve the tomatoes round their middles and smear with olive oil. Arrange, cut-side up, on a foil-lined grill pan. Season with salt and pepper. Grill under medium heat for 15-25 minutes until squashy. Remove the lentil lid, stir in ¾ (three quarters) tsp salt and simmer for a few more minutes until thick and smooth. While the lentils cook, peel and halve the shallots then finely slice down the halves. Heat remaining oil with the butter in a small frying pan and stir in the asafoetida, cumin and chillies. Stir-fry for 30 seconds then add the shallots. Cook, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Wilt the spinach in the lentils. Just before serving, stir in the contents of the frying pan. To cook the chops, trim excess and smear with oil. Season and grill 4-6 minutes a side, depending on how pink you like them.