What’s On My Table, With Alexandra Dudley
What’s On My Table, With Alexandra Dudley

What’s On My Table, With Alexandra Dudley

Alexandra Dudley is a food columnist, cookbook author and host of the Come For Supper podcast. In this monthly column, she takes us inside her east London kitchen to show us what she’s cooking and the tools she’s loving. This time, it’s a warming dahl – plus, three of her favourite home accessories…
By Alexandra Dudley

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Speedy Red Lentil Aubergine Dhal

Dhal is the thing I crave most of all during this kind of in-between weather. I love to make a big batch to freeze so that it is on hand whenever I fancy it. This one is packed full of veg and I love the added texture that the aubergine brings. Finish it with cooling yogurt and some chilli oil for heat.

Total Time
1 Hour
1 large aubergine
Neutral oil such as sunflower oil
1 onion or shallot, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely grated
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely grated
2 tsp of ground turmeric
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of ground coriander
1 tsp of whole cumin seeds
4 tbsp of tomato puree
500ml of red lentils
2 grated carrots
250g of chopped tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
500ml of stock
100g of spinach
Juice of 1 lemon
Step 1

Halve the aubergine lengthways and the slice into 1cm thick semicircles. Fry in a dry frying pan (with no oil) for about 5 minutes on either side or until they are golden and charred. Set aside.

Step 2

In a wide deep saucepan or casserole pot, heat a good glug of oil, add the shallot, garlic, ginger and spices and cook gently for 5 minutes over a low heat until fragrant. Add the tomato puree and cook for a further minute or so.

Step 3

Give your lentils a quick rinse (I find the easiest way to do this is to put them in a large bowl or saucepan, fill it with water and swoosh the water around a little with your hands before tipping most of it out). Add the rinsed lentils along with the grated carrot, chopped tomatoes, tinned tomatoes and stock. Stir to combine, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for approximately 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked.

Step 4

Taste to season, then wilt in the spinach and stir through the aubergine. Squeeze in the juice of a lemon to finish.

Step 5

Serve with yogurt, chili oil and fresh coriander if you like.


Scalloped Stripe Earthenware Breakfast Plate, £20 | Anna + Nina

If it’s scalloped, I want it. And a pop of sunshine yellow is just the thing as we head into spring. 

Available at Selfridges.com

Unity Egg Cup, €12.95 | Anna + Nina

Boiled eggs and soldiers are my go-to weekend breakfast at the moment. I love these cute striped egg cups.

Available at Anna+Nina.nl

Wiggle Collection Linen Napkins, £69 For Set Of 6 | Polkra x Jess Wheeler

I love an element of mismatch on the table and these napkins are a brilliant way to add a splash of colour. The fact that they each have a different colour means they sort-of go with anything. 

Available at Polkra.com




I don’t know how it’s taken me so long to get to Toklas restaurant, but I went for lunch a few weeks ago and had one of the best meals I’ve had in months. The food is Mediterranean with dishes following the tune of the seasons. If it’s on the menu, make sure you order Delica pumpkin, which arrives wafer thin and coated in a gloriously crisp light tempura batter before being finished with chilli and honey. I also loved the seabass crudo with fennel and finger lime which provided a blissful glimpse of summer to come and was also my first time trying finger lime (a funny looking thing that when squeezed almost produces citrusy pearls of juice).

Toklas works closely with the Todoli Citrus Farm in Palmera, Spain growing some the best citrus around so wherever there is citrus on the menu you can be certain it will be exceptional. Puntarelle alla romana (one of my absolute favourite things to eat) was perfect with a punchy anchovy dressing, and a seemingly simple dish of coco beans with grilled artichokes, datterini tomatoes and salmoriglio was so good that I have not stopped talking about it. We finished with a trio of citrus sorbets, blood orange, lemon and pomello that offered the perfect balance of zesty and sweet. 

Visit ToklasLondon.com

For more from Alexandra, follow @AlexandraDudley or visit AlexandraDudley.com

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