I got six courgettes for 99p at Waitrose this afternoon, figuring I would make courgette meals for six days in a row.

And then I realised that Red and I are going back to Essex this weekend to pick up our luggage for our trip, and I therefore won’t be home to make dinners.


So I had to compensate in tonight’s dinner.  Objective: use as much courgette as humanly possible.  Result: (mostly) Courgette and Red Lentil Dal.  Adapted from Leah Leneman’s Vegan Cooking for One.  Served with some perfectly cooked brown rice.  The picture’s a bit crap because I took it with my phone, but the dal was a beautiful yellow punctuated by the bright green of the courgettes.


Courgette and Red Lentil Dal


  • 2 courgettes
  • 3.5oz red lentils
  • water (for cooking lentils)
  • small onion
  • 1 tbsp creamed coconut
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3-inch piece of ginger
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tsp turmeric 
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Step 1: Put lentils in a pot and cover with water and stir in turmeric and some salt to taste.  Bring to a boil and then simmer briskly for ten minutes. After ten minutes, cover and simmer on low for another fifteen minutes.  Check lentils periodically and add water as necessary.  They should have a slightly soupy consistency by the end.

Step 2: Cut onion and chop garlic.  Sautee over medium heat in vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes, until beginning to soften.

Step 3: Chop ginger and slice courgettes.  Add to onion and garlic mixture and sautee for another 3-4 minutes, until courgette begins to soften.

Step 4: Add vegetable mixture to lentils (once the lentils have finished cooking; they should look like slop by this point).  Add garam masala, cayenne pepper, and creamed coconut and mix everything thoroughly.

Step 5: Serve with rice.

Step 6: Enjoy immensely.

(Serves 2)


I enjoyed mine a little too immensely, as I bit the hell off my tongue.  Note to self: eat less zealously.



  1. Heather · May 4, 2009

    DUDE! I want some zucchini & red lentil dhal. Maybe I should start calling them courgettes instead. You’ll have to say it with a British accent in a few weeks.

    Other things you could make: courgette muffins, courgette baked fries (olive oil+salt+pepper+cumin+chili powder – roasted in the oven for 30-45 minutes), courgette fritters, raw courgette pasta. I really fucking love courgettes!

    See, it’s catching on!

    • risschris · May 7, 2009

      Courgette muffins?? Um, recipe, please?

      Also, how do you make raw courgette pasta?

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