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Byron Bay Beetroot Dahl by Cade McConnell

We first met slow food guru Cade McConnell at the original Body Holiday Retreat in Bunjalung country, Byron Bay. At that table we began to understand that cooking for Cade is so much more than just the food. A slower pace, the use of clay pots, grinding ingredients between stones, cooking over fire, using his hands throughout every step of the processand only using ingredients from local organic markets means every part of Cade’s food is infused with care every step along the way. We interviewed him for our travel diaries here. Below is his beetroot dahl recipe from his soon to be released cookbook which you can find along with his range of slow cookware here.

In his own words “I love this. The beets add a depth, sweetness and pleasing colour, along with all the amazing health benefits they offer. Good for the blood. This dahl is a great way to eat more beets. Make this a ‘once a week’ dish.” 

Serves 4, Prep time 20 minutes plus 6 hours soak time


  • 1 cup split moong dal,
    soaked for at least 6 hours
  • 4 cups water
  • 300g beetroot, finely grated
  • 1 handful coriander stalks, chopped 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 cup brown onion, diced (50g)


  • smash in a mortar and pestle 1 medium garlic clove (5g)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (5g)
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 2 cardamom pods


add to a small dish:

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric


  • a squeeze of lemon
  • ghee
  • fresh coriander


    1. Press play on your Byron Bay retreat radio
    2. In a cooking pot, soak the split moong dal. I generally soak mine all day or overnight. Discard the soaking liquid and rinse the lentils several times.
    3. When you’re ready to cook, add the beetroot and coriander stalks to the pot and bring to a boil with the lid off on high heat. When boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer. Scoop any foam off the surface and discard. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until the lentils and beetroot are soft. Add the coconut milk and salt. If it looks too dry, add more water and cook for a further couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and place the lid on the pot.
    4. Heat a frypan on medium to high heat. Add the ghee and when it’s hot add the onion. Cook for a few minutes until it has browned, then add the wet spice mix and cook for a few more minutes until the garlic becomes golden and the raw smell dissipates.
    5. Add the dry spice mix and cook for 10 seconds. Add a splash of water to prevent the spices burning and to lift any spices stuck on the bottom of the pan. Pour this mixture into the dahl pot and leave to sit for 5 minutes with the lid on to infuse before serving. If it has cooled down, heat it up slightly.

If you haven’t already, immerse yourself in your Byron Bay retreat.


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