Simple, quick and nutritious – this post-swim dhal is an ideal way to warm up after a cool dip

The swim group that my partner Josh and I started, ‘The Supermares‘, often socialise after a swim by sharing food. This post-swim dhal is my go-to offering. It’s simple, quick, nutritious, cheap and a perfect warmer after a cool dip!

Ingredients (served 6)

2 tbsp oil (vegetable, olive or coconut works)
2 white onions finely diced
1 thumb-sized piece of grated root ginger (the stuff in a jar is fine)
6 garlic cloves
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1.5 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp amchoor (mango powder) (optional)
2 fresh lemongrass stalks (optional)
1 large cinnamon stick (optional)
2L vegetable stock
400g red lentils, rinsed
1 large tbsp peanut butter (can be left out if a nut allergy)
400ml tin coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 lime


• Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and fry for 10-12 minutes. Investing time in softening the onions at this point makes for a delicious end result. Pay attention not to catch on the bottom of the pan.
• Add the chopped ginger and fry for four minutes, then add the garlic and fry for two minutes more.
• Stir in the cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric and amchoor powder.
• Bash the lemongrass (I use a rolling pin) to release the fragrance, and add to the
pan with the cinnamon stick.
• Add the lentils, stirring well to coat with the spice mix.
• Using around 2/3 of the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and
simmer for 25-30 mins. Add more stock as necessary, and stir regularly.
• The dhal should thicken and look creamy in appearance.
• Add the peanut butter and coconut milk, mix through, and season to taste.
• Remove lemongrass and cinnamon stick. Garnish with freshly chopped
coriander and a squeeze of lime.
• If serving on the beach, get friends to bring their own bowls and forks! At home,
you can add a bhaji or two, some rice and a naan.

‘The Supermares’ of Weston

Recipe by Anna Southwell, Loves Cafe, Weston-super-Mare. This is an extract from the July issue of Outdoor Swimmer. Find and follow LOVES café on Instagram @loveswsm.